Sweet Talk
Paternalism and Collective Action in North-South Trade Relations
J. P. Singh


Contents and Abstracts
1 Introduction: The Subtext of North–South Relations
chapter abstract

This chapter describes the key linkages for the book: the way paternalistic strength weakens trade reciprocity and negotiation advantages strengthen it in North–South trade negotiations. It describes the main counterfactual, strategic trade theory, and then provides a deeper explanation embedded in cultural preferences that account better for outcomes in trade negotiations.

2 Who Is Served by Paternalism?
chapter abstract

This chapter first analyzes arguments in favor of, and against, interstate justice and paternalism—the strong helping the weak—before turning to the conditions in international negotiations that allow developing countries to obtain concessions in their favor. Paternalistic concessions are examined as departures from reciprocity to the extent that they are unilateral concessions made to the developing world, often in lieu of trade concessions that the developing world needs. Paternalistic preferences are traced back to racism. The chapter also explains the developing world's negotiation advantages.

3 GATT and the Developing World before the Uruguay Round
chapter abstract

This chapter shows that postcolonial questions were not paramount in the creation of GATT. It presents an analysis of trade measures that affected the developing world from the creation of the GATT to the end of the Tokyo Round (1979). Three trade measures are examined: the system of imperial preferences, trade status for infant industry in the developing world, and the Generalized System of Preferences that resulted in special and differential treatment for the developing world. The causal variables for examining the degree of reciprocity in each of these trade measure remain the same as before: North–South trade negotiations and the degree of paternalism from the North.

4 Unequal Partners in Merchandise Trade
chapter abstract

This chapter attends to the dynamics of paternalism and negotiations at GATT's Uruguay Round (1986–1994) and the effects on reciprocity in merchandise trade at the three levels of evidence from mixed methods presented in this book. First, the chapter attends to the presence of "sweet talk" as rhetoric. It provides the results of a content analysis of 1,925 pages of press releases for the 1982–1993 period from the U.S. trade representative for the years of the Uruguay Round, which confirms paternalism in USTR discourse. Next, the chapter presents the overall findings on merchandise trade at the Uruguay Round with an index developed to measure paternalism from a factor analysis of three other indices. Finally, the textiles agreement from the Uruguay Round is examined as a case of North–South negotiations in manufacturing.

5 An Uneven Playing Field in Agricultural Negotiations
chapter abstract

This chapter analyzes the evidence against North–South trade reciprocity at all levels discussed in this book: quantitative, historical, and case studies of sugar and cotton. Former colonies fare worse in agriculture than they did in manufacturing, even after the Uruguay Round, which ostensibly opened up some markets in agriculture. The Uruguay and Doha Rounds are discussed separately. Furthermore, a microanalysis of the causal factors—paternalism and negotiation advocacy—in the sugar and cotton cases helps to examine the underlying cultural intransigence that blocks benefits for the developing world.

6 Big Disparities in Services and Intellectual Property
chapter abstract

This chapter explains the difference between the North–South intellectual property and services agreements. The former is heavily contested, whereas the latter offers a win-win for North–South negotiations. The North's coercion and paternalism in intellectual property is explained first. Any exceptions to TRIPS provisions have resulted from the developing world's advocacy. The services agreement has enabled many developing countries—ranging from India as an outsourcing hub to developing country island states as tourism corridors—"discover" their comparative advantage in services products. Along the way, the developing world has also been singled out in policy and media accounts in the United States and the EU for "stealing" high-tech jobs, and fairly explicit racism has been directed at countries like India targeting its outsourcing practices.

7 Conclusion: The End of Sweet Talk
chapter abstract

This chapter provides a summary of the lessons learned, attends to counterarguments, and conjectures on ways forward for the developing world. Contrary to the expectations from a benevolent paternalism, this book finds scant evidence of sustainable material benefits from paternalism in international trade relations. Negotiated alternatives, especially multilateral ones, provide the weak some advantage. Strategic collective action from the weak fares well, but strategic economic diversification translates best into negotiation advantages.