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“When you sit down to eat your delicious meal, it’s better that you don’t know that most of the food you are eating was shipped from Miami.” Without exaggeration, a local resident revealed the present situation in Jamaica to the journalist unemotionally but in a tone somewhat sarcastic. The documentary we watched in class focuses on the influence of globalization in this post-colonial country – Jamaica, as the fourth largest island country in the Caribbean, declared the independence under over 300 hundred years colonization from Great Britain in 1962. According to the readings, economic globalization is defined as “the architecture of the international economic system has been constructed to facilitate the mobility of capital and goods.” However, is this inevitable trend a right choice for Jamaica and the people? I doubt about this from two aspects: economic and social impacts.

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Although Jamaican former prime minister Michael Manley claimed that Jamaica was not for sale, he had to give in because of the burden of the debt crisis in the 1970s. He had no choice other than signing the contract with the IMF that was known as the Structural Adjustment Programme. Since Jamaica’s economic condition is a net importer of goods and services, the country could not get a balance from the financial trades.  Devaluation and higher interest rate bring a mounting debt burden to the country and make it harder for the government to pay back the debts owed the IMF. Besides IMF, WTO also plays a vital role in economic globalization. Based on the readings, WTO was founded under the Bretton Woods System in 1944 and reorganized as WTO in 1955. The main goal of the WTO is to “facilitate trade between countries and rules that countries agree.” WTO enlarges the free market, but it destructs economic system in developing countries like Jamaica at the same time. Due to the WTO Agreement, the increasing trade deficit in Jamaica worsens the imbalance in international payments and is unable to withstand the shock. There is a segment in the documentary that the US government, one of the WTO members, forced Jamaica to compete with exporters from Central and South America.

In addition, the entering of the IMF and WTO in Jamaica triggers the relationship between the government and the people. The truth that liberalization policies ask for the elimination of import taxes on imported milk and the removal of subsidies to the local industry disappointed the public again. In spite of this, the government incompetence and the overdependence on the global economic organizations speed up the hostile feeling of the public. The scene in the film that farmers had to pour the milk because of the dumping reflects the helplessness of the people. At the end of the film, Jamaican walked to the street and protested against the WTO and IMF in order to show their dissatisfaction. Conflicts between the government and the people will only hurt the whole country more.

Unlike the deceiving appearance of the sunny beach resort, vacationers would never expect the dark side behind the glamour which is a poignant picture of Jamaican life from top to bottom and the enforcement of IMF and WTO agreements led to these economic damages in Jamaica. Economic globalization will just make everything tougher in developing countries like Jamaica. I want to end with a quote by Jose Saramago, “The world is governed by institutions that are not democratic – the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO.”