WTO Update — Day 1 of 5

 

WTO Ministerial #6: Will it Be Sino-Seattle?

Dear Fair Trade Activist,

This week, trade ministers from the 148 World Trade Organization (WTO) signatory countries are meeting in Hong Kong for the WTO 6th Ministerial summit. These WTO Ministerials are the venues for the making of momentous decisions that will affect all of our lives — unbelievably, given no one elected this powerful global governance body!

In response to the Hong Kong Ministerial, this week is a Week of Global Justice Action and Education — e-mail us to get connected to events in your area.

There was a time when trade ministers from the United States, European Union and the WTO staff itself looked forward to the Hong Kong Ministerial as the champagne toast for the latest round of WTO negotiations launched in 2001. "Wait a minute," you say. "Isn't this the WTO that collapsed spectacularly in Seattle and again in 2003 in Cancún?" Well, in a stealthy move at the WTO's Geneva headquarters just over a year ago, a small bloc of rich countries revived the Doha round negotiations after the dramatic implosion of talks in Cancún, though in a major victory for civil society, they were forced to toss a few of the most insidious agenda items overboard.

In Geneva, then-Chief European Trade Negotiator Pascal Lamy crowed to the press, "The WTO is back on track and the train has left the station." But soon after this "revival" of talks, Doha negotiations have stalled consistently. Lamy — now Director-General of the WTO — and other WTO expansion proponents have been forced to concede that Hong Kong will be simply "a stock-taking exercise."

Why the repeated deadlocks? Because after a 10-year test run, it's become obvious that the WTO has failed.

Starting when the Hong Kong Ministerial begins tomorrow, Global Trade Watch will offer you daily doses of WTO news. We'll share the undeniable evidence of how a decade of WTO implementation has left the majority in worse conditions in poor and rich countries alike - reasons why the majority of countries represented in Hong Kong want to halt expansion of the WTO.

  • Day Two: A Decade of WTO Damage Energizes Global Opposition
  • Day Three: Poverty on the Rise: Indictment of the WTO Model
  • Day Four: The WTO's Cancer on Democracy
  • Day Five: Alternatives

Please e-mail us to get connected to events in your area against the WTO. We'll also link you to mainstream news coverage from Hong Kong; and also, please visit the Our World is Not For Sale network blog from Hong Kong.

Sincerely,

The Global Trade Watch Team

Take Action!

Right here at home, Jobs with Justice Coalitions and member groups of the Grassroots Global Justice network have designated this week a Week of Global Justice Action and Education. Please consider participating in events planned for later this week — e-mail us to get connected to events in your area.

To further educate yourself on the WTO and what it means for you, go to our WTO website or order a copy of Lori Wallach's book, Whose Trade Organization: A Comprehensive Guide to the WTO.

 

Global Trade Watch
releases WTO zoning report

The WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which will be negotiated in Hong Kong this week, poses a serious threat to state and local authority over zoning and land use policy right here at home. Read GTW's press release or our full report (PDF format), released today.

 

The Hong Kong
Ministerial In the News

Some of the recent coverage on the WTO and Hong Kong:

 

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