Protectionist Sentiment Surfacing

Published Wednesday, March 11, 2009 -

Protectionist sentiment is getting stronger as British workers voice their concerns as the economy slows. Looking at online sectors for service jobs in a global economy the European Union is seeking direction to combat protectionist attitudes.

The E.U. has been using the information industry as a panacea for all it's economic problems, and in an effort to jump start the online industries has promoted initiatives such as the eEurope action plan. Almost ten years ago the E.U. set up guidelines to strengthen economic reform, employment, and social cohesion, in order to modernize and transform Europe into an information based economy.

As the digital revolution has come to pass so have many fears regarding the fairness of trade in the global economy. The United States has sent mixed messages to the would be global trader.

China is also a fine example where strict censorship is both cultural and political protectionism. Even democratic governments may decide that the internet should be filtered to protect business and work within their domestic borders.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) said the provision to ban internet gambling in the U.S.A. was illegal. Seen as a contentious issue as the U.S. government did not ban gambling it had a financial interest in such as horse racing, while they stripped international companies from competing in the web based market. The European Union and the World Trade Organization have provided measures for removing obstacles to electronic commerce by creating clear rules for web trade.

Governments are intervening in their economies as a matter of 'economic security'. The public expects them to protect domestic industries from imports and global markets threats. Protectionism is more complex than we may think, from conventional tariffs and non-tariff barriers to technical barriers and the setting of standards. The age of protectionism may be on us all too soon.

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