Edited by Inge Govaere, Reinhard Quick and Marco Bronckers
Chapter 1: Competition and Trade Policy and the Challenge of Globalisation
JOBNAME: Trade and Competitio PAGE: 3 SESS: 20 OUTPUT: Mon Jun 20 16:16:16 2011 1. Competition and trade policy and the challenge of globalization Jacques Steenbergen 1.1 GLOBALIZATION: AN UNAVOIDABLE CHALLENGE1 The globalization of markets as we know it now as a globally interdependent economy, was a virtually unavoidable consequence of technological developments. We learned to produce services as well as industrial and agricultural products on a scale that does no longer correspond with the needs of national societies. The development of production both enabled and required the development of trade and it has resulted in a gradual shift from autarky to interdependence on an ever larger scale.2 We grew accustomed to a standard of living and a pattern of consumption that is only sustainable if we make use of modern technology. Disposable income and cost of consumption are not only dependent on the ability to sell goods and services beyond the borders of our domestic markets but also on cheap imports. Globalization may mostly be perceived as a threat to employment by imports and dislocation, but access to markets abroad is also a condition for preserving our standard of living and employment in all sectors that can only justify present levels of activity by access to foreign markets. As I concluded in the 1970s together with G. De Clercq and R. Foqué in a study that was published in English thanks to the support of Jacques 1 Section 1.1 draws on Foqué, R. and Steenbergen, J., ‘Regionalism:...
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