If you go to Maine, you will find a small town named Wilton. If you know anything about Wilton, you know it is where Bass shoes have been produced for 122 years. However, there is more you need to know about Wilton. Some 350 workers were laid off in April of 1998. This is a tragic thing to happen to a community that has been making shoes, as a way of life, for generations. Many factory towns in Maine are being described as looking like "war zones," because their economies are hit so badly (Ferdinand 1). You may be asking what happened to make the company lay off all of its workers, the answer is simple, it was GATT. .
The General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) is an international agreement that allows corporations to become international, transferring money and technology to any member country in the world to produce goods. This sounds good at first. If a company can import and export freely, won't consumers benefit by being able to buy products from around the world? If products can be produced by low-wage labor and with lower taxes and tariffs, will consumers be able to buy cheaper products? Think again about Wilton, Maine. If people are unemployed or end up in lower paying jobs, they will not benefit from this treaty. The rest of the taxpayers will have to foot the cost of government retraining programs and unemployment benefits. According to Sir James Goldsmith, an economist, testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee, .
economic costs they bring with them (Goldsmith 4).".
On December 15, 1993, in Punta del Este, Uruguay, the negotiations that had been going on since 1947, and involving 124 countries, finished its most important round, known as the Uruguay Round. The agreement that came out of these negotiations was the one that President Clinton took to Congress for approval and finally signed on December 8, 1994. It took eight years of strenuous debate that began during the Reagan Administration.