The Global Trading System

Assessing its effects on developing countries

  • Vincent Heney


This paper examines the rise of the neoliberal global trading order that began in the 1980s. It is argued that the shift away from a protectionist trading regime has afforded developing countries certain opportunities, especially with regard to GDP growth and agricultural output. These benefits, however, are far outweighed by the economic, social, and environmental costs that disproportionately affect developing countries. Though civil society has made impressive strides in mitigating such costs, only with state-driven efforts and a rejection of market fundamentalism will substantial change in developing countries be realized.