Shatha Khalil *
The Iraqi economy faces a number of economic challenges that threaten political and social stability, such as poverty, unemployment, inflation and destructive infrastructure, high production costs, administrative and financial corruption, environmental pollution, water problems, deterioration of agricultural and industrial production, and so on. And without any corresponding preventive measures by the State, or to develop strategies that would provide appropriate and appropriate solutions to solve these challenges because of their preoccupation with the issue of security and terrorism, which requires the development of an integrated strategy Through which these challenges are addressed.
Obstacles to Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization:
Iraq is witnessing its transition in its economic policy, and the transition from the central economy oriented to the market economy, has decided to join the World Trade Organization according to the following stages:
On February 11, 2004, Iraq submitted its application for accession as an observer to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and was approved by the General Council.
But is Iraq eligible to join the World Trade Organization (WTO)? Iraq has adopted wide open policies towards the world, and sought to establish important economic and legislative bases that operate according to the mechanisms of the market system – supply and demand – after an economic siege that lasted more than a decade. It was marginalized on the map of the world economic system and its deprivation Of investment opportunities, progress, development and technological know-how that should have enabled it to cope with the rapid developments and developments in the international market and to change its competitiveness in the last two decades.
Iraq suffered international isolation in a world that was swept by the currents of integration of its companies, liberalization of its markets and integration, especially financial ones, and the supremacy of the neo-liberalism, which required extensive economic transformations in the field of informatics and financial services.
However, in the integration of financial markets with assets of more than $ 850 trillion, the acronym of financial globalization, the main focus of the global neoliberal economy, and the introduction of the GATT transition from the year (WTO). The latter was concerned with organizing a wide range of trade in services, particularly financial services, which were named after the GATS in 1994, based on the Uruguay Round.
At a time when global gross domestic product did not exceed 70 trillion dollars per year in 2013, and the value of world trade in goods and services annually is only less than one-third of this world output, trade in currency conversion and speculation is about four and a half trillion Trillion dollars a day in the international monetary and financial markets, a trade of financial speculation that exceeds the annual total of more than fifty times the total world trade in the activity of goods and services.
In light of international trade and financial exchanges, Iraq has moved to important regulatory levels in the transition to a market economy, to break the effects of its international isolation, progress in financial services and improve the foreign investment environment, through banking and investment law, the Central Bank Law, Which allows foreign banks to work in Iraq and allows the transfer of capital and currency in a way that serves the opening of Iraq to the world, in the conditions of a central rent economy difficult to understand the liberal market, which nevertheless provided positive opportunities and the foundations of legal and regulatory promising Iraqi Business Group.
The situation of Iraq will not allow it to be in the course of international economic competition, as there are still more than five thousand text of the legislative impediment to economic freedom and market activity, which the legal circles are studying today, which need to be amended, so that Iraq can integrate into trade and investment And to prepare it to join the World Trade Organization, according to the terms of membership, so that our country obtains the condition of the most favored state and the principle of national treatment.
Problems and obstacles to Iraq’s accession to the WTO:
While oil production dominates more than 60% of GDP, it uses only 2% of the Iraqi labor force, which accounts for only 22% of the total population. Which means that there is a huge imbalance in the composition of human productive wealth and the ability to invest it, especially the female labor force, which complains neglect, ignorance and illiteracy on a large scale.
The country’s exports of crude oil and its revenues constitute the absolute absolute majority of total exports, the revenues of the general budget and the country’s foreign exchange earnings. In addition, the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules out crude oil as a commodity within the internationally traded commodity group, Is the essence of the contradiction in Iraq’s accession to that organization, which excludes crude oil.
If the World Trade Organization allows oil to be included in the price, it will be determined by global supply and demand, away from the cartel of producer groups represented by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) or consumer groups represented by the International Energy Organization and its lines and programs in rationalizing oil demand and its role in rationing production And the impact on prices, which put price restrictions and the amount of a commercial commodity, but the political strategy is the driving force of Iraq’s foreign trade.
The agricultural sector, which comprises one-third of the population of Iraq and about 22% of the actual labor force, contributes to the GDP at a rate of only 5-7% at best. This makes Iraq almost an importer and does not have the necessary resources to provide grain food security. Or agricultural inputs, after shrinking agricultural areas produced by desertification and salinization and weak infrastructure, which overcome the disruption of more than 80% of the arable land, and the percentage of local security of grain exceeds 40% of the wheat crop in the best cases, and little mention of other varieties Which are partially covered by imports Ge, such as rice field and other crops.
The agricultural sector with the oil sector is structurally opposed in the direction of openness to the global market and in two different ways, in terms of the impact of trade benefits and costs, the global market forces or supply and demand have become strong, both in the demand for oil and its impact on the value of Iraqi exports, Food and its impact on the cost of Iraqi imports.
With reference to the philosophy of reducing customs restrictions by 24% and abolishing non-tariff restrictions, which are imposed by the World Trade Organization on the member country of the developing countries to work and implement them within six years from the date of accession, as well as the reduction of agricultural subsidies by 13.3% Ten years of accession, these conditions collide with the conditions of the agricultural market and food stock exchange.
The world is living in agricultural monopolies, offset by a deterioration in Iraqi agricultural development, posing a real threat to food security unless it is preceded by an agrarian program for self-sufficiency. Iraq will need a green revolution like Mexico and many other Latin American countries. Between three and six major monopolies in the world control 80-90% of the agricultural trade, controlling prices and quantities such as wheat, sugar, tea, coffee, cotton, jute and other products, while ten multinational companies still dominate one third of seed and pesticide production. Tha in the world.
In spite of the above, the entry of Iraq, regularity in the global economic space through the WTO, and its dealings with international groups, on conditions that apply to all formally, at a time when the world is still divided between the North and South, or advanced industrial center countries and the developing world .
The status of Iraq under Chapter VII of the UN Charter since 1990 until its completion on 30 June 2013, made Iraq in a negative economic environment hostile to development, and perhaps a barrier to natural integration in the global market, which has been banned for decades over the past because of restrictions on Iraq Until recently, that it was a high-risk country, a threat to world peace, and the use of force against it, despite the elimination of the objective reasons under which the economic sanctions were imposed on Iraq in due course.
The accession of Iraq to regional economic zones, such as the Greater Arab Free Trade Area and other economic agreements within the League of Arab States, or other forms of regional integration and integration, should take into account the implementation of the provisions of the WTO Agreement, GATT, which have both become bound by the implementation of trade agreements, so any commercial facilities within the framework of regional agreements, become without benefit or value if they are without facilities provided within the framework of the World Trade Organization.
On the other hand, the survival of Iraq is isolated from its international environment without a climate of interaction with markets and international organizations, especially the World Trade Organization, it will cost a lot because of the loss of the advantages and opportunities regulatory, technological and legal benefits, and other areas of investment and arbitration and ensure intellectual property rights and address dumping commodity , And others, opportunities that isolation from the organized world does not provide, nor can it gradually transform into a group of stable and low-risk countries that aspire to a shift towards openness to the world and can only be achieved by the availability of capacity Z formal integration of Iraq into the global trading system and its institutions of the World Trade Organization and in accordance with the foundations of a negotiated fair.
Despite the attention of the Organization to the issue of dumping, which started many laws that prevent dumping, but we find that some of the member states of the Organization, the adoption of this policy to achieve its interests at the expense of damage to the interests of others, as did the United States of America when the large quantities Of the maize crop to the Philippines, and the sale of one ton at a price that is 30 percent below the world price, which is the biggest harm to more than two million farmers living on maize production in the Philippines.
In Iraq, the Iraqi market was exposed to global markets after the US occupation in 2003, and was flooded with agricultural commodities, some of them are of poor quality and sold at low prices, which led the consumer to go towards, because of low income and weak knowledge of the negative effects on health, society and economy, The negative impact on local production, because of the inability of the local producer to compete with the importer, for the high costs of its production, especially after the lifting of agricultural support, which left the peasant leaves his land. Consequently, the dumping policy negatively affected agricultural production and destroyed it, and led to increased unemployment in the countryside.
This is expected when Iraq joins the organization:
1. The negative impact of this policy on the local production continues for the following reasons:
Poor quality laws and regulations.
Poor health control.
Weak tariff efficiency.
The need for the Iraqi market for agricultural crops due to low domestic production.
The absence of a technical team specialized in dispute resolution. Most of the disputes between developing and developed countries have been resolved in favor of developed countries because of the weak capacity and possibilities of negotiators from developing countries.
2. Intellectual property rights:
Iraq has gone a long way in producing some components of the agro-technology package such as improved seeds, seeds and fertilizers, which have played a major role in increasing agricultural production, as well as Iraq’s possession of scientific expertise and research centers, which reflected positively on agricultural production, To the relative self-sufficiency of some agricultural crops, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs and chickens, and the rise of strategic and industrial grain production to about 43% of the actual need.
After the occupation in 2003, Iraq has become totally dependent on importing the components of the technological package from abroad, because of the killing, displacement and arrest of most of its research cadres, as well as the destruction of most, if not all, research centers on the pretext that they are for military purposes, Destruction, which adversely affected agricultural production.
It is expected that the negative impact of intellectual property will continue even after Iraq’s accession to the Organization for the following reasons:
According to the IP conventions, the prices will rise in the world markets, which costs Iraq very large sums of money when imported, and can not be imported by private activity Hand, and ignorance of what that technology on the other.
The weakness of the farmer towards technology due to his ignorance and weak financial capabilities.
reluctance of developed countries and monopoly companies owning agricultural technology to export to Iraq, so as to remain a market for the disposal of agricultural goods produced in developed countries.
We conclude from this that the World Trade Organization is operating in a time of polar exclusivity and the United States’ dominance of global political and economic conditions, which has served the interests of the United States and its allies because the objectives of the Organization are to increase protection, reduce and eliminate tariffs for free trade, Because it does not have good industrial and agricultural products and low prices, in order to compete goods and commodities coming from developed and newly industrialized countries, such as China, South Korea, Taiwan and others. , Which indicates that membership in the Organization requires great political and economic measures and reforms in order to achieve justice and promote the global economy. Developed countries should take into consideration the political and economic conditions of developing countries, especially Iraq, and the difficult economic and political conditions that On the fundamentals of development.
Economic Studies Unit
Link Center for Research and Strategic Studies