Petition to President Obama: Turn Around the WTO!

World leaders at this week's G20 Summit will issue plans for reregulating the financial industry to help solve the economic crisis. Yet, bizarrely those same leaders will push for completion of the current WTO negotiations - called the Doha Round - which at its core calls for further financial services deregulation and pressures governments to limit their regulation of banks.

We need to stop this.

President Obama needs to hear from you that he must lead the renegotiation of existing WTO rules – like he said he would on the campaign trail. And, he must pull the plug on the lunatic idea of the WTO Doha Round requiring further financial service deregulation - which would only exacerbate the economic crisis. Sign our petition to the president telling him to turn around the WTO.

Petition to President Obama:

Dear President Obama,

Changes to World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Financial Services Agreement (FSA) are essential to ensure that the world’s governments have the policy space necessary to establish effective new financial service regulation on the domestic and international levels and fix the current economic crisis.

Just some of the WTO limitations many governments have placed on their financial regulatory policies are:
  • A ban on policies that limit the size of financial institutions (aimed at dealing with the too big to fail problem).
  • A “standstill” on financial regulation of sectors already committed to WTO jurisdiction, so countries risk WTO challenges if they reregulate elements of the financial industry.
  • Foreign firms must be allowed to offer any new financial product or services – no matter how risky – limiting the ability of countries to keep out harmful products, such as the credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations that fueled the current financial crisis.
Moreover, the WTO Doha Round, the WTO expansion negotiations launched in 2001, has as one of the main elements of its agenda further financial service deregulation and liberalization. The imprudence of further global financial service deregulation may have been less apparent when these talks started, or when specific financial service deregulation proposals were tabled in 2005. However, today it is clear that financial service deregulation was exactly what got us into the economic crisis.

We urge you to develop a plan to review and repair the existing WTO limits on financial service regulation and devise a future WTO negotiating agenda that takes into consideration the harsh lessons of the crisis.

Please fill out the form below. We'll send a copy of the petition with your name on it to the Obama administration.


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