Havana Charter

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Havana Charter was the charter of the defunct International Trade Organization (ITO). It was signed by 53 countries on March 24, 1948. It allowed for international cooperation and rules against anti-competitive business practices. The charter ultimately failed because the Congress of the United States rejected it. Elements of it would later become part of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

The charter, proposed by John Maynard Keynes, was to establish the ITO and a financial institution called the International Clearing Union (ICU), and an international currency; the bancor. The Havana Charter institutions were to stabilize trade by encouraging nations to 'net zero,' with trade surplus and trade deficit both discouraged. This negative feedbackwas to be accomplished by allowing nations overdraft equal to half the average value of the country’s trade over the preceding five years, with interest charged on both surplus and deficit.

See also

External links

  • - WTO official website
  • by Susan George at CounterPunch.org
  • a book by Michael Hudson that insightfully documents how developing countries have organized since the 1940s to restructure the global economic system, and failed every time.

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