People and services are not easily moved among the various countries. Although securing work and permits in the United States for Mexican and Canadian immigrants, NAFTA has also caused considerable concern in terms of legislation.
This is particularly the case in Canadian lawmaking. Several disputes resulted from NAFTA trading activities in the country. Such disputes for example include gasoline additives and possible related health concerns and nerve damage (Weintraub, 2004). Canada was also engaged in a long dispute regarding a 27% duty on softwood imports to Canada. This lasted for years before it was finally resolved in 2006. Significantly however, the decision was not ratified by either Canada or the United States (Weintraub, 2004). According to the U.S. Court of International Trade, imposing the duty was contrary to the United States law.
Other problems include the fact that Canada has lost more than 10,000 companies to foreign takeovers since NAFTA has been implemented. Furthermore, the agreement has been regarded as subject to a basic lack of democratic oversight and public opposition. Labor movement is both temporary and restrictive, particularly in the case of unskilled workers. When compared with the EU, it is clear that NAFTA has many more restrictions, while also not promoting the democratic and free implementation of trade agreements among the member countries.
NAFTA is therefore an example of a defective trade agreement among nations. It is modeled upon the ideals of the EU, but far from imitating them. NAFTA appears to perpetuate not only conflict, but also poverty. It does not impose any sort of consistent, measured, or democratic oversight in terms of economic activities within any of its member countries. As such, Mexico is allowed to perpetuate its poverty by means of unsound economic activity, while Canada continues to experience considerable conflicts regarding its trade agreements with the United States.
When contrasted with this, countries such as Spain and France are not subject to such problems, although they are certainly not free from problems or conflict. However, it must also be said that the United States is one of the most prosperous nations in the world. Indeed, some have gone as far as referring to the country as an economic world power. There is therefore no reason why it cannot arrange its international affairs in such a way as to manage wealth rather than cause conflict and poverty.
IV. RECOMMENDATIONS for MANAGING GLOBAL PROSPERITY
When considering recommendations for managing global prosperity, it is a good idea to conduct a comparative study of models that have proved successful as opposed to those that have not. The EU for example has worked well, whereas several factors surrounding NAFTA have resulted in considerable challenges.
A specific example of what might work well in terms of managing global wealth is companies that plan to export their services to other countries. Once again, this must be thoroughly regulated by entities such as the EU to remain as democratic and beneficial for all involved as possible.
In this regard, Scottish Southern Energy (SSE), might be seen as a model of a favorable foreign venture. The energy provider's current business area is mainly the UK. Its plans are to expand to Spain and France not only to increase its own wealth, but also to provide a valuable service to the foreign market. Before SSE can do this, however, it must be aware of the various forms that such a venture could take, along with factors such as EU laws surrounding foreign ventures (CIA 2010), and also of the language and culture of the countries considered for investment. Hill (2009, p. 238) for example mentions the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), where a company invests in foreign premises to produce or market a product in that country. This could occur either by merging with an existing company in the target country (Greenfield investment and acquisition), or by means of a Greenfield investment, which refers to the establishment of a new company. In the case of Canada, to name an example, many companies have been lost to Greenfield investments and acquisitions. It is most likely that SSE will prefer the Greenfield investment to maintain control of its own operations and technology.
In such a case, various issues need to be considered in the foreign country. When entering France for example, the company will need to translate its marketing campaign into French, as this is the country's conversational language. Most French will therefore relate more easily to an advertisement in French than one in English. As selling points, the SSE can use its own reliability as a factor, while providing both reliable and renewable energy to customers.
As for Spain, Britannica (2010) notes that the culture and atmosphere are very relaxed. However, it is important to be punctual for appointments, although there is not much emphasize on time or deadlines. Furthermore, SSE officials would do well to prepare themselves for disorganized business negotiations. While English features more prominently as a conversational language in Spain than France, it is also a good idea to remember than documentation such as business cards should be printed in both Spanish and English. A note should also be made of business attire, which tends to be more formal in Spain than the other European countries.
In general, Spain and France are good targets for the SSE, as both countries are experiencing energy shortages. Spain's rapid economic development specifically has placed it in a position of needing more fuel and coal, while being unwilling to obtain this from many foreign sources. If the SSE were to open a new business in the country, the import problem would be resolved.
The SSE is therefore representative of a company as vehicle for sharing global prosperity. It has enough resources to provide energy for its home country as well as foreign partners. Furthermore, it has a commodity that is needed in the foreign market, and can therefore viably expand to the global market. Furthermore, it has the advantage of a well-organized EU entity behind it.
While only the EU and NAFTA countries were considered, the principle of sharing global prosperity can be applied worldwide, and particularly in countries that are plagued by poverty and conflict issues. The EU provides the best model to do this. It is a politically and economically sound entity that provides its member states with both safety and freedom in all their ventures. It does not however specifically address the issue of poverty or other forms of conflict, either within its member states or in the rest of the world. Instead, and perhaps rightly so, the EU concerns itself primarily with enforcing its laws and regulations in order to maintain a sense of free trade and benefit for all.
A possible recommendation in this regard is then that several forms of the EU be brought about across the globe, and that one of the functions of these should be investigative. Personnel should for example be trained to investigate any poverty issues across their assigned area, country, or even continent. Such personnel could also work in teams or work groups in order to better investigate the issues concerned. Such investigations should then identify the areas of greatest need in terms of poverty or conflict issues.
Once this has been established, the business world should form the second leg of the investigation. The stricken areas will have to be investigated for viable industries that could create a supply basis for a demand. The size of this demand can range from regional to global. Once this has been established, established companies from more prosperous areas can be called upon to lead the way for a new company in the areas of concern.
Such investigations can also be implemented by the EU in order to ensure the even spread of industry and business across its member countries.
A futher possibility for managing world prosperity can also be in terms of non-tangible assets, such as peace or ideology. Many countries and their citizens are suffering not only as a result of the recession, but also of political conflict. The European Union and other entities like it can help to regulate such conflicts. Rather than for example imposing restrictive rules regarding membership, it could instead be concerned with mitigating political difficulties and imposing measures to force perpetrators to stand down.
There is no doubt that enough wealth exists on the globe to ensure than no hunger or poverty sees the light of day. However, powerful hindering factors that perpetuate poverty and hunger remain in existence. These include the inability to properly manage not only the asset of wealth in terms of money, but also in terms of organization and targeted research and mitigating measures.
In conclusion, successful entities and companies such as the EU and SSE should be closely investigated for factors that result in prosperity. This knowledge should then be applied on a worldwide scale in order to properly manage global prosperity for the benefit…