Political Economy

Investigation and Monitoring of the Post-MFA Impact in China

31 December 2004 marks the end of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA), a thirty-year old quota system for textile and garment exports from developing countries to developed countries. The common speculations prior to the MFA expiration have been that soaring Chinese and Indian exports, declining trade for smaller countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, cheaper prices for consumers in the developed countries, further job loss of textile and garment workers in the developed countries.

(The article is only written in Chinese)

(This article is only written in Chinese.)

(The article is only written in Chinese)

(The article is only written in Chinese)

Book review: Karl Marx in Beijing

Source: "International Socialism", Issue: 123, 25 June 09 By Jeong Seong-jinGiovanni Arrighi, Adam Smith in Beijing (Verso, 2007), £14.99Translation by Owen Miller The following review was written by Jeong Seong-jin, professor of economics at Gyeongsang National University, South Korea. Professor Jeong is the author of a number of books in Korean, including Marx and the Korean Economy and Marx and Trotsky. He is also co-editor of the English-language volume Marxist Perspectives on South Korea in the Global Economy (Ashgate, 2007), editor of the bilingual journal Marxism21 and translator (into Korean) of An Anticapitalist Manifesto and The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx by Alex Callinicos.

China: End of a Model -- Or the Birth of a New One?

By Au Loong Yu (Author’s note: This article was first published in the summer issue 2009 of the US journal New Politics. This slightly revised version corrected two translation mistakes and a minor error in the footnotes. September 3, 2009.) China’s thirty years of nearly uninterrupted high growth has encountered great challenge as global economic crisis has hit China’s export hard. Since China’s trade as a percentage of GDP is as high as 70%, the export-led growth mode has practically ended. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is aware of this. Back in April 2008 President Hu Jintao spoke of the need to change the mode of development from export-led growth to domestic-led growth by expanding domestic demand. In November the 4 trillion RMB of rescue package followed. The economy is slowing down, and the target of the rescue package at “Baoba,” or keeping the growth rate at 8 percent, is hard to achieve. Nevertheless, with a slower growth rate of 5-6 percent, which most commentators are speculating, is still outstanding when the US and EU are sinking further into deep recession. The global downturn on one hand and China’s relative strength in containing the crisis on the other makes the topic “the rise of China” more heated than ever.

Solidarity is the key in the fight for jobs by oil refinery workers in Britain

By Rachel Page Oil refinery workers in Britain won an important victory in their struggle to keep their jobs last month after taking unofficial strike action. More than one thousand contract workers who worked for the French multinational Total at Lindsey oil refinery in North Lincolnshire went on strike on 11th June after a sub contractor cut 51 jobs at the refinery. 647 workers were then subsequently sacked by Total for the walkout. They were told that they could reapply for their jobs by 22nd June provided they ended the strike.

A Bottom-Up Democracy

By Boris Kagarlitsky Source: The Moscow Times, 9 June 2009 It had to happen sooner or later. The first bill on nationalization has been submitted to the State Duma. That such a bill would appear in Russia only after similar legislation was introduced in Britain and the United States might seem paradoxical, at least at first glance. After all, Moscow officials would rather die than be accused of an attempt to revive communism. This is especially true of senior government officials in the "economic bloc" whose job is to please investors. In recent years, the less liberal Moscow's political regime has become, the more effort officials have had to make to demonstrate Russia's supposed adherence to economic liberalism.

In Russia, a Recession-Plagued Town Revolts

By John Wendle / Pikalyovo Source: TIME magazine. Thursday, Jun. 11, 2009 After waiting half an hour in a line of 20 people at the dusty ATM, Eduard Markov finally walks away with his old leather wallet bulging with rubles. Like thousands of others in the northern Russian industrial town of Pikalyovo, the 44-year-old clay-quarry worker had not been paid in three months. But now he at least has enough to buy the basics — meat, vodka, noodles, oil and fruit — from shops that just a few days ago were empty of customers.

Still no recovery in sight for workers

By Fred GoldsteinSource: Workers World. Jul 3, 2009

IBM should come clean on engineering layoffs

(Source: EE Times. 4 May 2009.) Perhaps more than any other U.S. high-technology company, IBM Corp. has been subjected to intense media scrutiny in the aftermath of a string of recent under-the-radar layoffs. Much of that unwanted attention is a direct result of union activism that has taken on a decidedly "we're mad as hell and we're-not going to take it anymore" tone. Following an IBM shareholder meeting last week, fighting words like "greed" were being lobbed like hand grenades. For its own reasons, IBM executives continue to say little about company layoffs. That policy has backfired, attracting still more scrutiny and criticism.
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