May-June, 1981 Home   Newsletters

July-August, 1981

September, 1981

Summer Calendar
President's Message (Barbara Farwell)
New Officers and Portfolios
League Sponsors Women Artists
Countdown for ERA
International Scene: The Role of LWV (Dottie Gullicksen)
Definition of Honesty
On Juvenile Justice
Update on Office Manager
City Council -- For the Best Show in Town!
Whatever Are You Doing with Your Time this Summer?
Volunteers Galore
Change in Viewpoint
Honolulu? Hawaii? It's all the same to me!
LWV Publications - Our Natural Resources
Membership Survey
Membership Update

International Scene: The Role of LWV

The following is the second of a series on the international scene and LWV. Look for articles in subsequent Voters.

The League is most intensely interested in international trade, development assistance and the United Nations, and believes that these are the crucial links in the interdependency of nations, leading to trust, confidence and peaceful co-existence. International Trade, in LWV's position, should be open, expansive, and flexible with special consideration for the needs of developing countries.

The LWVUS launched a public education campaign and conference on the basics of international trade. The illuminating report of the results has been published under the title: "International Trade: Style and Substance" (1980, LWV #389, $1.25).

If we study the patterns of governmental decisions concerning international trade, we find that the opening and closing of the doors of trade excite strong emotional reactions -- only abortion and welfare issues eclipse them. The League has adopted well thought-out positions which recognize the need for flexibility and reassessment, and we have acted on them. Leaguers might be interested in referring to the impressive library of reports, essays, and summaries written and published by the LWV which are available in our office.

Early in 1979, many developing countries participated in the Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTN) for the first time. As these developing nations participated, they naturally played an increasingly important role in world trade.

The complexity of one international trade cycle is illustrated in the following example:

Country "A" suffers a shortage of one thing and gets an overabundance of another; import-export doors of Country "A" close. "A's" domestic economy enjoys a positive rally, but status quo is maintained in relation to the rest of the world. Other countries, meanwhile, enter international trade and competitive levels rise. Country "A" reopens its import-export doors; However, its system of production is now outmoded in terms of world trade. Hostility is directed at it from the world community.

Even while continuing in the world trade arena, the United States has become entangled in a serious situation relating to one aspect of the above example. A May (1981) issue of Kiplinger Washington Newsletter points out that large U.S. corporations have fallen far behind the international community in research. Small companies have demonstrated creative ability but lack funds for development. As an indication of the extent of the problem -- last year, 80% of the patents in electronics applied for in the U.S. were applied for by Japan, Russia, and Russia's satellites. It is anticipated that 80% of total U.S. patents in 1981 will be applied for by foreign sources.

In future issues of the Voter, the League's history with the UN will be discussed as well as vigorous League policies concerning aid to developing nations.

Dottie Gullicksen

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