The Main Ideas Behind Kant’s Formula Of Humanity Essay Sample For College

Kant has described various aspects of humanity that define their moral standing and capability. There are various forms of moral standing which mainly depend on what the person feels is right to do and that he has the ability. There are many right things that can be done, yet people are hindered from such accomplishments simply because they do not have the ability to perform their duties and responsibilities. There is also another category of people who engage in desirable activities simply because they are obliged by their experiences. It could be because of the benefits that come performing the responsibility. For instance, a teacher who is employed to impart knowledge on the students is obliged to give them the best education simply because of the benefit of salary that comes with it. Kant does it well knowing that failure to produce good results may make him loose his job. The teacher may also do so considering that he is knowledgeable and also trained to do so. Even though somebody else may feel the need of offering teaching services to a student, they may not be able to do so due to their lack of experience.

According to Kant’s formula humanity should be treated in a way that will not only have a short term gain but a long one. This basically means that people ought to treat others just the same way that they would wish to be treated, not only as an obligation but also as a duty. For something to be morally human, it needs to satisfy the person doing it. There is much pleasure that a person gains from being involved in something they love rather than simply as an obligation. People are endowed with different responsibilities in society that bring them satisfaction and happiness. The satisfaction that one gains from performing such a responsibility is long term and they will always feel happy about doing it. Performing a responsibility with such an attitude not only makes the person to provide the best services, but also brings comfort to the person that is being serviced. When a person does something simply out of duty, it means they are not really paying attention to the results. It may hence not matter to them whether they are achieving something out of it or not.

In fulfilling the humanity question, Kant insists on the importance of human beings setting goals and being determined enough to fulfill them. This is the main thing that will act as a motivation factor and make them achieve something out of their actions. Setting goals makes an individual to understand where they want to go and hence strategizing on how to get there. It also makes them to be focused on one thing and hence avoiding any kind of distraction that may come their way. There is however a need to put in some efforts that will ensure that the end results are fruitful. Goals are usually set out of ones desire to fulfill and accomplish a certain task. There is hence a certain kind of value that the individual will attach to every detail of accomplishing it. The difference between a person that has an ambition to accomplish a certain thing and that one that pays no attention to it is the value they have towards it. All this can be observed through their actions and determination. Kant hence feels that to be morally human is to follow the desires of your heart. There is first a desire that will make one to set targets which will be followed by a determination to fulfill them.

Some of the most important differences between Mill’s utilitarianism and Kant’s moral theory

Mill and Kant have varying reasoning concerning the motivation behind human behavior. They both believe that a human being should engage or will engage in certain actions when there is a certain force behind them. According to Kant, there is the issue of moral theory and to Mill; there is the principle of utility. Kant believes that for any action that has to be done by an individual, there should be a moral motivation that is attached to it. Morality to Kant means that it should be something that is acceptable and beneficial to the society. This should also be an action that a person has the ability of performing and they have generally thought over it. He believes that one engages in something that they have desired to. By desiring to accomplish a certain course, it makes the person to make the necessary preparations that will enable them fulfill it. The ability of the person to succeed in pursuing their dreams however, depends on their level of commitment and their hard work. In proving how desirable a certain course is to an individual, Kant says that it is the value that they attach to it. When a course is not valuable, then a person will tend to slow down in his or her efforts of accomplishing it.

Mill, in his principle of utilitarianism, insists on the necessity of doing something that will bring happiness to not only the person doing it but also the society in general. The motivation behind human actions according to Mill is the pleasure that they are going to derive in it. It is such pleasures that will make them to go to any extend to ensure that they accomplish it. However, Mill is not advocating for people to engage in acts that are contrary to the moral standing of other individuals and the society in general. He emphasizes that the happiness should not only be reflected on the person engaging in the actions but also to other people around. There have been certain criticisms that have been raised against his principle of ultimate utility which he has clarified. He believes that everybody has that desire of doing something that will cause them satisfaction. For such a thing to satisfy them, then it must be pleasurable and also not causing any kind of discoid in the society.

When it comes to religion and pleasure, Mills believes that even God himself desires that his creatures live a happy life. He is against individuals who feel that believers need to sacrifice their pleasures to please their maker. The ultimate of everything in life is to achieve a certain goal, and unless the goal is to bring or cause happiness, then its labor is in vain. There are also some actions that may mainly bring satisfaction and not really happiness. This is also a point that has been raised by Kant on how some people engage in morally right activities simply because of the promised reward. As much as they have achieved something in bringing hope to an individual, their driving force is not necessarily to help but to receive the end reward. This are actions that are done out of duty of which it may not really hurt the person whether they accomplish them appropriately or not.


Kant and Mill have raised important points that need to motivate people to face the next day. They are basically both insisting on the importance of not simply living for the sake of it but laying targets and goals that one desires to fulfill and accomplish. There is psyche within an individual when they are assured of the end results of what they are doing. Despite the challenges that they may be encountered with on their road to achieve their goals, they will keep doing them with the assurance that one day they will get there. As they see the fruits of their hard labor, they will be motivated even further to set higher goals. They are against compromises of any nature as they believe in individuals that set goals that will satisfy the needs of the society. If every individual was driven by such kind of forces, then it would minimize on the frustrations that come by setting wrong goals. There is usually hope for one to re-channel their dreams and set newer goals if they discover that they have lost interest in what they are doing. There is no need for one to hold on to something that they see no hope in. It will be more satisfying for them to know that their actions are baring fruits for them and those that depend on them.

“Secret Agent” By Conrad And “Cocaine Nights” By Ballard: Comparison

Most of the movements in art and literature were based on the negation of the principles and beliefs of the previous periods. At the beginning of the twentieth century, modernists contrasted their aesthetics to the principles and views of nineteenth-century realists. In the second half of the twentieth century, postmodernists developed some of the modernists’ ideas, reconsidering them, and starting a new movement in the history of literature and art. The difference between the aesthetic of modernist and postmodernist literature can be researched on the examples of the modernist novel The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad and the postmodernist novel Cocaine Nights by James Graham Ballard.

Postmodernists did not deny the conceptual system of the previous period but shifted the frames. For this reason, this movement lacks a new term, the prefix “post” was added to the term “modernism”. The definition of the concept “postmodernism” is complicated by its popularity within the last decades. Cahoone (2003) noted that “The term ‘postmodern’ has become a popular label for something about the life and thought of recent decades in the most developed societies” (p. 1). The meaning of this term became much broader than it was initially implied by the philosophers and writers. Works of art sometimes are named postmodernist only for the reason that they were created in the second half of the twentieth century, disregarding the implementation of the postmodernist principles in them. Besides, this term is included in the conceptual systems of Philosophy, Literature, and other related sciences. McKeon (2000) noted that “Postmodern skepticism is the complex product of a historical conjuncture and is constructed as both symptom and critique of the contemporary economic and social formation of Europe and America” (p. 917). Caused by the changes of the socio-economical standards of life, the appearance of modernist and postmodernist movements resulted in alteration of the main themes and methods used in literature and art.

Modernist and postmodernist novelists choose the themes, which allow expressing their attitude to the human ability for cognition of the reality and construct the plots breaking the traditional rules of chronotope, composition of the time and space dimensions in literary works. Postmodernist philosophers deny the existence of a single truth, stating that any attempts to find it are senseless. All people’s views are considered only subjective interpretations of the reality. Hoffman (2005) stated that “While in most modern texts, awareness, understanding, and knowledge are prerequisites of a sense of identity and authenticity, postmodern fiction starts out from the perception that experience and rationalization are not fully (or not at all) compatible” (p. 99). The impact of the twentieth century theories, such as Freud’s Unconscious and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, on the general picture of life, was remarkable. The importance of humans’ awareness and understanding is questioned. Literature, Painting, and Architecture broke the traditional rules and used new original forms and methods for mirroring reality and authors’ views in the works of art. Broadening the gap between the objective reality and the human perception of it, modernists and postmodernists disregard the traditional principles of chronotope. Modernist writers deny the necessity to state some concrete time in the novel, while it is regarded relative and insignificant. Smethurst (2000) stated that “Many modernist writers turned to the plurality of private times, where the private experience of time flows freely in a ‘stream of consciousness’ unbridled by the order of public time or traditional narratival time” (p. 32). Stream of consciousness technique was often used by the modernist writers. Developing the idea of individual interpretation of reality, postmodernists neglected the space parameters as well. Smethurst (2000) noted that postmodernists disrupt the unities of time and location: “Space and time are combined, and space is no longer regarded as a static container in which events occur. Rather it affects and is affected by, events. Events produce space-time as well as occur in space-time” (p. 48). Constructing the plots of their novels, modernist and postmodernist writers give preference to individual interpretations of time and/or spaces, concentrate on the inner life of the characters.

The plots of the modernist novel The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad and postmodernist novel Cocaine Nights by James Graham Ballard disrupt the generally accepted rules of literary chronotope. Constructing the novel, Conrad concentrated on the interior life of his characters, disregarding the time parameters of the story that was characteristic of the modernist writing. This was not a stream of consciousness technique; still the inner reasoning and recollection of the characters could cause the unexpected turns of the plot and lead the narration to the past and then back to the future. Conrad used flashback technique, mixing present, past and future in the story, focusing on the character’s consciousness. The novelist’s choice of language devices is predetermined by his aim to construct the plot in accordance with the train of the character’s thought instead of chronological succession of events. Conrad places the narrator at distance from the rest of the characters, still initiating into the intimate thoughts of the others. Halliwell (2006) stated that “The narrative voice conveys the tone of declamation and deflation” (p. 90). Language provides the author with the necessary opportunity to manipulate the time of the novel according to his intention. There are some time holes in time in the novel, it means that Conrad omitted the episodes which he regarded insignificant for the development of events. The effect produced by the structure of the plot is that of the live narration instead of the written book and a well-structured story intentionally prepared for presentation to the reader. Halliwell (2004) noted that “The ironic tone and the formal complexity of the narrative, in which a section in the middle is removed and only pieced together retrospectively, draw attention to the novel as a ‘told’ tale” (p. 96). The technique of the flashbacks makes the plot of the novel difficult to follow for an unprepared reader, it should be viewed through the perspective of the modernist aesthetics.

James Graham Ballard sets the events of his postmodernist novel Cocaine Nights in artificial fictitious location, influencing the character’s perception of reality. It is not even the community but the place itself that influences the plot of the novel, stimulates the development of the events and changes the personalities of the inhabitants. Getting in Estrella de Mar, people forget about their initial purpose of arriving and cannot resist the temptation of the island life. Kitchin and Kneale (2002) noted that “Rather than stressing a sociological, political or psychological imagination, Ballard’s vision is centered upon geography as both the expression and main agent of change in human subjectivity” (p. 91). Dusrupting the accustomed rules of chronotope, when the place is only a minor factor, meanr by the author by chance or neglected at all, Ballard puts emphasis on the place where the events take place. The postmodernist novelist allows location affecting the events and the characters’ behavior. The fact that by the end of the novel Charles Prentice, the main character, finds himself out of control, proves that the place in Cocaine Nights cannot be regarded a static parameter. The parameters of time are not significant in the novel and are subordinated to the parameter of place and main intention of the author. Bentley (2005) noted that “the temporal dimension is gradually hollowed out in the text, to be replaced by a preoccupation with the ways in which space determines identity, the novelist’s attention once again falls on the problem of subjectivity” (p. 49). The time period is not specified, but the dystopian island events, depicted in the novel, could take place in the future period of leisure culture. Working in the frames of postmodernist aesthetics, Ballard disrupts the traditional rules of chronotope, puts emphasis on the location parameter and almost neglects the indicator of time.

Choosing similar story lines of a crime investigation for their novels, Conrad and Ballard, influenced by modernist and postmodernist principles correspondingly, reflect their views concerning the human ability to find out the truth in their novels. The main themes illuminated by Conrad in his novel The Secret Agent, such as alienation, cognition, and breakdown of communication, need to be evaluated through the perspective of the modernist principles. For example, the choice of the theme of alienation in the society may be explained by the modernist principle of individual perception of the objective reality. Walkowitz (2006) noted that “In The Secret Agent, Conrad shows how social processes of classification create the physical characteristics of foreigners” (p. 6). Verloc, the main character of the novel, the secret agent and entrepreneur at the same time, discusses law, politics and communist revolution with his comrades. The fact that the communist ideas are illuminated in the novel is predetermined by the period, in which the work was written, at the beginning of the century communism was the burning issue of the day. Influenced by these theories, Conrad even classifies his heroes according to the communist categories: “I defy the ingenuity of journalists to persuade their public that any given member o f the proletariat can have a personal grievance against astronomy” (p. 21). Verloc’s brother-in-law Stevie has got a mental disability, and consequently his life views are distorted. Using this motif the author emphasizes the human inability to find out the truth, while Stevie’s picture of life demonstrates the possible difference between the reality and the person’s perception of it. Conrad does not attempt to make his characters realistic, they were only his marionettes, executing the author’s will. Wollaeger (2006) noted that “In The Secret Agent the narrator polices characters who threaten to grow into full-blooded Forsterian roundness by flattering them into satiric reductions. Verloc, for instance, opens a door ‘woodenly, stony-eyed, like an automaton whose face had been painted red’” (p. 52). The themes of terrorism and experiments with bombs get the new meaning nowadays, while the novelist at the beginning of the century raised the question of this evil. Conrad’s characters have difficulties in investigation process, and this fact may be explained by the modernist ideas of human inability to find the truth, individually interpreting the reality.

The questions of alienation and meaningless existence are touched upon in the postmodernist novel Cocaine Nights by James Graham Ballard. The novelist reappraises the old values. He chooses his own indicators for evaluation of the events, tries to predict the possible consequences of the present way of the present day progress and manages to identify positive impact of some negative phenomena. Haig (2004) noted that “Contemporary philosophers and novelists have identified that leisure and distraction are becoming the driving economic forces of modern society. In his novel Cocaine Nights Ballard even anticipated a ‘future without work’” (p. 52). Gasiorek (2005) stated the pre-conditions causing the dystopic state of affairs depicted in the novel: “All human needs have been anticipated, and the entire social mechanism has been calibrated to minimize friction and disturbance” (p. 21). This motif is aimed at criticizing the current level of development of the society. Ballard develops his theory in the novel: “People will work, or rather some people will work, but only for a decade of their lives. They will retire in their late thirties, with fifty years of idleness in front of them” (p. 180). Ballard criticizes setting the priorities on entertainment and leisure, and ironically or seriously states that only crimes can unite the communities, as only reflection to this negative social phenomenon is unanimous. Seltzer (2007) noted that “Only one thing is left which can rouse people, threaten them directly and force them to act together. … Crime and transgressive behavior” (p. 53). Reappraisal of the old values in the novel Cocaine Nights is characteristic of the postmodernist aesthetics.

The novels The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad and Cocaine Nights by James Graham Ballard are examples of the modernist and postmodernist literature correspondingly. Working in the frames of the movement, the authors disrupted certain parameters of chronotope and reappraised the old values, illuminating the themes of alienation and cognition.


  1. Ballard, James Graham (2010). Cocaine Nights. 2-nd edition. Counterpoint.
  2. Bentley, Nick (ed.) (2005). British Fiction of the 1990s. Routledge.
  3. Cahoone, Lawrence (ed.) (2003). From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
  4. Gasiorek, Andrzej (2005). J. G. Ballard. Manchester University Press.
  5. Conrad, Joseph (2001). The Secret Agent. Dover Publications.
  6. Haig, Matt (2004). Brand Royalty: How the World’s Top 100 Brands Thrive and Survive. Kogan Page Limited.
  7. Halliwell, Martin (2004). Images of Idiocy: The Idiot Figure in Modern Fiction and Film. Asgate Publishing.
  8. Halliwell, Martin (2006). Transatlantic Modernism: Moral Dilemmas in Modernist Fiction. 2-nd edition. Edinburgh University Press.
  9. Hoffman, Gerhard (2005). From Modernism to Postmodernism: Concepts and Strategies of Postmodern American Fiction. Postmodern Studies.
  10. Kitchin, Rob, James Kneale (2002). Lost in Space: Geographies of Science Fiction. Continuum.
  11. McKeon, Michael (ed.) (2000). Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach. The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  12. Seltzer, Mark (2007). True Crime: Observations on Violence and Modernity. Routledge.
  13. Smethurst, Paul (2000). The Postmodern Chronotope: Reading Space and Time in Contemporary Fiction. Postmodern Studies.
  14. Walkowitz, Rebecca (2006). Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation. Columbia University Press.
  15. Wollaeger, Mark (2006).Modernism, Media, and Propaganda: British Narrative from 1900 to 1945. Princeton University Press.

Principle Sources Of European Commission Discretion

Many definitions have been advanced by numerous scholars in trying to give the most fitting meaning of safeguard action. However, for the purposes of this writing, we are going to adopt the much reverenced definition of the Australian government (2001) which simply says safeguard action is an emergency action that “May be taken where a surge of imports causes or threatens to cause, serious material injury to a domestic industry.”

In effect, it helps a country to easily respond to significant yet “Unforeseen, sharp and sudden increase of imports” which have caused surmountable material injury to a country also professionally termed as a serious injury, state or region (European Commission, 2009). The European commission further adds that safeguards are fundamentally meant to “give the industry a temporary breathing space to make necessary adjustments.”

When talking of “A sharp increase in imports”, we basically refer to the spontaneous upsurge in imports which negatively affects the economy. It is normally something unplanned for and that is why finding a solution to it is extremely important. On the other hand, “a serious injury” is a detrimental effect on an industry or a country resulting from a number of factors (but for the purpose of this essay, the spotlight is going to be on the sharp increase in imports). The action of one facet, as explicated above, leads to the other. This is why they are sometimes described as being “causal”; and failure to curb them eventually leads to the taking a safeguard measure (United Nations, (2003, p.16 & 17).

In a nutshell, United Nations (2003, p. 19) simply says that determination of a serious injury involves “An assessment that the increased imports have caused or threatened to cause serious injury to the domestic industry producing the like or directly competitive product.” On the other hand, sharp increase in imports can be determined by either by assessing it absolutely (through increase in units like tons) or the degree of its relativity to the domestic production of competitive products (p. 12).

If someone is to tentatively investigate serious injury, he/she must do it with regards to a whole domestic industry or part of it depending on the nature of the injury United Nations, 2003, p. 20). Similarly, in order for a safeguarding action to occur, there must first be justification of quantity restrictions based on the stipulated rules of the European commission. According to the European commission, 2009), a safeguarding action can only take place after a comprehensive enquiry is conducted by proficient authorities mandated by the Productivity Commission in Australia. The enquiry may take a short or long duration depending on the nature of the issue at stake as well as its perceived urgency.

During this duration, the commission also debriefs the World Trade Organization (WTO) and affected countries of the commencement of investigations. In most cases, the government of the country perceived to have the problem normally frontlines the investigations into the problem. Similarly, in circumstances that involve domestic industries, domestic investigations are conducted (GATT, 1994, p. 136).

As an inherent rule for assessors and implementers of safeguarding measures; all they do must be governed by professionalism, transparency, accountability and having the publics’ interest at heart. So in as much as many countries have directly or indirectly benefited from safeguarding measures, the actions are not meant for selfish gains (World Trade Organization, 2010).

If credible and valuable evidence is found -by the Australia’s Productivity Commission- in favor of sharp and unforeseen surge of imports causing serious injury to an industry, country or region; restrictions are temporarily placed against importation of particular products. In other words, action is only taken once there is a “Causal link between increased imports of the product concerned and serious injury or threat thereof” to the industry (GATT, 1994, p.136).

In a case where there are several causal factors of an injury, it is wrong to deductively say that sharp increase in import is the cause. At such times, it is advisable that the many causal factors are divided then the percentage for sharp increase in import is found independently (United Nations, 2003, p. 27). It is important to note that such measures are only meant for countries or regions that are members of the WTO.

Through various citations and supporting examples, Wilson (1998) outlines that the “sharper” the increase in imports without regulation; the more serious a country’s or organization’s injuries become. He goes ahead and says that in as much as safeguard measure invaluably help getting institutions back on their feet, the key solution lies in clearly demarcating the boundaries that should not be crossed by these measures. Wilson retorts that the clause that deals with the safeguard has serious issues that undermines the spirit in which the paper was written. Paradoxically, its wording is in many places too ambiguous, inviting exploitation, yet at the same time is structured in such a way as to discourage its use.”

According to United nations (2003, p.19), “The presence of serious injury or threat thereof to the domestic industry as a result of the increased imports is a major substantive requirement for the imposition of a safeguard measure.” This is why it is very important that increase in import is checked so as to avoid incurring huge losses through miscellaneous expenses which could have otherwise been avoided.

Application of safeguarding measures when facing a serious injury is- in most cases- a double-sided tool that benefits some people while plunging others into deep loses. For the purposes of fairness, GATT (1994, p. 137) states that “A member country proposing to apply safeguard measures is expected to offer adequate trade compensation to countries whose trade interests would be adversely affected by such measures.” This offers a relative chance for progress by all member states and not just one Country making positive economic progress while the other languishing in abject economic down-surge.

Moreover, members who apply for safeguard measures must ensure that they pay for it through compensations. World Trade Organization (n.d) documents that Members applying a safeguard measure must ensure that they uphold a considerably equal amount of concessions and other responsibilities with respect to the other affected members. In order for them to do this, an adequate amount of trade compensation is agreed on.

Safeguarding measures are mostly applied on a global basis. They are named differently; these measures are product specific and thus operate differently. It is again vital to note that the measures/actions are temporary and thus change over time depending on the situation at hand (Ministry of Economic development, 2010).

Yet still, safeguarding measures are also implemented on a regional basis. In spite of their growing popularity, these non-global factions of the World Trade Organization WTO) are only a handful at the moment. In addition, they are incepted just for special occasion and only a few countries have systems that can accommodate the complicated dynamics of these safeguards. Examples include the Thailand-Australia free trade agreement and the recently incepted New Zealand-china free trade agreement. Under these special circumstances, additional safeguarding measures may be included or secluded depending on the nature of the agreement. This type of safeguards is what most scholars call bilateral safeguards (Ministry of Economic development, 2010).

As a staunch rule, quantitative restrictions (quotas) imposed should not be reduced lower than the annual average for the previous three years of the WTO member involved. For normal industries, and other related sectors, a safeguard is only implemented to the point of being able to resuscitate it from the serious injury and help it to re-adjust. Anything more is considered outside the legal confines of the WTO and is subject to punishment by law (World Trade Organization, 2010).

Notably, bilateral safeguard differ from WTO safeguards mainly because they targeted at solving serious injuries from sharply increased imports that arise from tariff elimination while WTO’s focus on the exact opposite of that. However, in spite of the autonomy that they have in some areas and thus making them different from global safeguards, both these safeguards ascribe to the laws stipulated under General Agreements of Tariff and Trade (GATT) and WTO (Ministry of Economic development, 2010).

According to the European Commission (2009), there are special cases and circumstances where different rules are applied to different member states. For example, automatic licensing over a particular period of time (commonly known as Surveillance) may be allowed if the trend of imports of a product threatens to cause serious injuries to European commission members who are very important in production.

Another example is that the agreement provides an exceptional treatment to developing countries in the implementation of safeguarding measures. GATT (1994, p. 137) affirms that “Imports from a developing country are exempt from safeguard measures if its share in the imports of the product concerned into the country taking the measure is less than 3%.”

There is also the salient policy on agriculture which has not been fully advanced but is already present in some states. This policy tends to give autonomy to members of some developing countries as a motivation to perform better. At the moment, it has not yet been entrenched in the GATT laws but agricultural countries are striving hard to put it in place Ministry of Economic development, 2010).

In addition, the duration for safeguard measures can be extended up to eight (8) years from the stipulated four (4) based on competent assessment by the relevant authorities and evidence of adjustment in an industry. According to GATT (1994, 134), the purpose of the lengthy 4(four) year duration is “To give industries time to adjust gradually to the increased competition resulting from reductions in tariffs and from the removal of other barriers to trade.”

This addition of years has however faced criticisms from numerous quarters as being used for selfish gains. Luckily enough, not many countries or regions have been accorded this privilege in the recent past. This has consequently silenced the highly volatile and vocal critics; at-least for a while World Trade Organization, 1998, p. 6).

Latest researches also reveal that there are specials rules that govern re-application that is done to safeguard measures to given products. On normal occasions, re-applications are normally done until a period equal to the duration of the original safeguard measure if finished. The special rules however propagate that if a new safeguard measure has a duration of 180 days or less, the involved institution can re-apply so long as at least 1 year has elapsed from the original date the safeguard measure was introduced (World Trading Organization, 2001).

As a final example of specialized circumstances and thus specialized rules; New Zealand and China got to maintain “Their existing WTO rights and obligations” on the use of global safeguard measures under the New Zealand-China free trade agreement of October 2001. The free Trade agreement articulated that “A global safeguard measure may exclude imports originating from China” provided that they are certified to be non harmful (Ministry of Economic development, 2010).

In general, the provision of such specialized packages to members not only acts as a great incentive to them; but also facilitates accommodativeness which is a very vital statute for any industry or country that is prospecting for positive economic growth. Of course there have been numerous accusations of corruption and unequal distribution of resources; some true while some false. This should however not hinder the invaluable contributions that have been made through safeguard actions (Wilson, 1998).

Just like any other high performing organizations, the WTO has an elaborate and comprehensive bureaucracy of leadership that ensures its high performing standards. Apart from the aforementioned leadership roles, there is a committee on safeguards who most people consider as the backbone of safeguards and all other issues relating to it. The committee’s fundamental role is to monitor the implementation of safeguard measures in relations to the sharp increase in imports noted as well as the level of injuries sustained by an institution. After doing this, they analyze their findings then tabulate reports which they then forward to the council for trade in goods.

Through their vast knowledge and experience, they are occasionally allowed to include their recommendations in the reports; although this is highly prohibited for rookies because they may end up mixing up unrelated issues thus leading to confusion.

Another important job for the committee is solving of disputes. This is crucial more so with the highly polarized nature of different institutions which normally leads to quarrels. Sometimes disputes also come as a result of difference in opinions. The committee members should therefore be very tactful in how they handle the victims involved in the disputes. If disputants are unwilling to resolve their differences, the committees should then forward the dispute to a higher authority. However, it is the advisable that the committee members totally exhaust their potentialities before deciding to forward the issue to a higher authority (United Nations, 2003, p. 49).

Other duties for member of this committee include: ensure members comply with stipulated rules, assist those who make consultations, review proposed retaliation from members, conduct any kind of job that is directed by the Council for Trade Goods and maintain high professionalism in their endeavors for example, observe confidentiality, tactfulness among many others (World Trade Organization, 2010).

The success of the process of implementing a safeguard measure greatly depends on overall contribution from all areas. The process is equally important right from the assessment and much caution should be observed by those doing the observation as well as those being observed so as not to relay any false information. Some of the vital roles that should be observed by members include: firstly, they should make sure that they notify the committee of initiation of investigation of the existence of serious injuries that they face. Such notifications should have all the relevant details that will make the process easier. Secondly, they ensure that they follow all the rules and regulations stipulated for them whether they are being monitored or not. Failure to follow such regulations results into dire consequences which, I believe, nobody would love to be a part of (All Business, 2010).

According to United Nations (2003, p.3) the main reason why the many governing bodies strive for the upholding of the GATT and WTO rules is simply to: Promote international trade and therefore is also expected to increase import flows mutually advantageous concessions. It might therefore appear astonishing and somewhat contradictory that the same agreement allows WTO Members to “back-pedal” and place restrictions on imports in the form of safeguard measures if those imports increase.

In addition, WTO has been marred with a lot of challenges and criticisms which have slowed down its progress. Firstly, there have been inadequate funds to support all the members of the WTO thus limiting their scope of help. Secondly, there are allegedly lazy members, who drag back positive movements. Thirdly; the difference in laws of different states becomes very challenging when international meetings are held. Something that is relative in one place may be tentative in another thus limiting consensus. Fourth and finally, there have been numerous accusations of the GATT and WTO laws of not being clear thus leading to varied misconceptions by different members (Wilson, 1998).

On a more positive note though, it is commendable that more institutions are realizing the need for working together as one. In effect, many institutions are joining the WTO, more discoveries are being made; more help is being offered to the needy and generally, the world being made a suitable place. Nevertheless, this is not enough. So much more still needs to be done if things like sharp increasing imports are to be stalled European Commission, 2010).

In conclusion, going by the various articles that have been written for and against safeguard action, it can be deductively said that most researchers tend to see it as a good thing. Its numerous advantages like bringing people together, helping in forging good international relations, uplifting companies, industries or even countries in time of need, generally propels positive movement (Kaplan, 2010). On the other hand, safeguard measures has also received its share of criticism more so in-terms of its diction. It is therefore fundamental that we learn lessons from our past, focus on the present, while planning cautiously for the future (Articlesbase, 2010).

As individuals, we may not be able to treat ourselves from the serious injuries we constantly get, but with the help of others, we will not only get treatment but also learn from others on how we can ultimately blunt the sharp increase in imports which constantly leads to injuries.


All Business. (2010). European Union External Trade Policy: Multilevel Principal-Agent Relationship. Web.

Articlesbase. (2010). Global Business Environment.. Web.

European Commission. (2009). Trade defense: Safeguards.

European Commission. (2010). Business Environment. Web.

GATT. (1994). Safeguard measures to restrict imports in emergency Situations. Web.

Kaplan. (2010). Global Business Environment.. Web.

Ministry of Economic Development. (2010). Trade remedies under the New Zealand – China free trade agreement. Web.

United Nations. (2003). Dispute settlement. Web.

Wilson, G. (1998). The safeguards clause. Web.

World Trade Organization. (2010). Committee reviews, 43 safeguard actions. Web.

error: Content is protected !!