This major research paper will present a case study of the experience of the small Eastern Caribbean island of St. Lucia which highlights that free trade does not benefit all parties; that this example is a very bold, but unfortunately common case of the most powerful interests reaping all of the benefits while the smaller nation and its vulnerable farmers are left in a state of virtual economic collapse. The first section of this paper, St. Lucia the Historical Context will provide a background of the banana industry from colonialism until the shift away from protected trade in 1993. The second section of the paper, Power and Free Trade, will examine the problematic theoretical arguments underpinning the movement towards free trade, and how the hegemonic economic model proposed through neoliberal policy cannot apply to St. Lucia. The final section of the paper, St. Lucia Today: Worries, Problems and Possibilities, will examine the socio-economic impact of free trade on St. Lucia, and examine the potential for the island’s survival in a post-banana economy.
Kevin Edmonds MRP - The Power to Impoverish. the WTO and St. Lucia