The Arms Trade and the World Trade Organization
Search, and you will find a bunch of
lobby groups' papers trying to make the connection
between the World Trade Organization and the arms trade.
The argument goes like this:
- The WTO treaties specifically exclude the arms trade.
- Therefore... um...
- try this... governments that want to
indulge in what is defined from the point of view of
the fundamentalist free-trade position as "unfree
trade" - that is, trade on terms that that discriminates
against certain capitalists - can do so only in the context
of the arms trade. They can subsidise arms traders. They
can stop foreign investment in arms traders. They can
direct their armed forces to buy only from certain arms
traders. They do do all the above, and borrow heavily
to do so, either in pursuit of something called
"sovereignty" or as a means of subsidising
certain capitalists. (And sometimes they claim they do
so to "create jobs", although paying people
to burn as many €20 notes as they can in a day,
every day, would probably be more cost-effective.)
- So: the WTO encourages the arms trade, by ignoring it.
There's an alternative argument.
They're both shit.
They both kill people - more suddenly in one case than
Both the arms trade and the WTO are dedicated to
maintaining the conditions for so-called "free
trade" - that is, trade that's free for
The Arms Trade is what they need to enforce so-called "Free Trade"