This paper focuses on the trading policies of developed nations, specifically import quotas, and their positive and negative effects on developing countries. We hope to show that the case is not as polar as was once believed and instead focus on how the current literature suggests that the real effects of free-trade are shrouded in nuance and circumstance. Our starting point will be an analysis of the fashionable neo-liberal trade theory and its impact on development, making special reference to the Multi-Fibre Agreement (MFA). We will then turn our attention to the shortcomings of the neo-liberal approach, and provide a critique of it with the aim of shedding some light on the true nature of quotas and their contemporary cousins: Voluntary Export Restraints (VERs). Finally, we will examine whether or not developing nations are merely predetermined pawns in the game of globalized trade or if they can take an active role in increasing and maximizing their trade position.

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