What Are the Legal Barriers to Globalization?

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Globalization has had far-reaching effects on some countries’ laws, as well as international laws. Globalization is the process by which countries integrate their economies, societies or cultures through trade, transportation and communication. Some countries have established policies and regulations that determine their levels of interaction with other countries, and to the rest of the world, and some of these laws have hindered the process of globalization.

Legal Protectionism

Legal protectionism enables countries to protect their domestic companies from foreign international competition. Although it is permitted by the World Trade Organization (WTO), it undermines globalization in that if one country practices legal protectionism without giving concern to other countries’ economies, these neglected countries may also respond by practicing legal protectionism towards it. For example, when the United States administration decides to exclude Brazil, China or Canada from accessing or purchasing her goods and services, these countries will also safeguard their local markets from being accessed by the United States.

Immigration Laws

Restrictive immigration regulations limit the movement of individuals across the globe. According to the World Bank’s 2001 Report on Globalization, Growth and Poverty, despite many countries attempting to promote globalization by participating in the international trade, they have insisted on putting restrictive immigration laws that prevent foreigners from seeking employment or residency. This has largely threatened globalization such that, as of 2010, the UN Human Development Report estimated that the world immigrant population stood at a mere 3.1 percent of the overall world population.

Laws Across Borders

Laws between different countries vary remarkably, but countries can use a contract to specify in advance which laws should apply whenever they trade. However, the agreement within the contract may be difficult to enforce as some countries have the tendency to change their laws as influenced by different interpretation of the constitution. This may be settled when countries use treaties.

Boycott Legislations

Some countries may agree to pass legislation that guarantees they avoid trading with other countries. For instance, most members of the Arab League passed legislations demanding that they participate in the boycott law against Israel to discourage trade with Israel. This implies that countries that may want to do business with any Arab country in the Arab League may be required to participate in the boycott not trade with Israel. In the U.S., the Bureau of Industry and Security U.S. Department of Commerce enforces the Anti-boycott Laws under the Export Administration Act to discourage or prohibit U.S. companies from participating in the boycott of Israel.

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