WTO talks collapse welcomed by campaigners

Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Campaigners Global Justice Now today claimed that the collapse of the WTO ministerial in Argentina was “the best outcome possible” given the position of rich countries at this week’s summit.

They criticised the continued intransience of rich countries like Britain who have “no interest in solving the fundamental injustice of current WTO rules, and instead want to turn the whole world into a corporate playground.”

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said:
“WTO rules have been created to serve the interests of the big players in the global economy – transnational corporations. Their demands have ridden roughshod over the needs of the majority of people in the world. Yet rather than transforming these rules, the rich countries continue to bring more and more issues onto the WTO’s agenda which will make the situation even worse. 

“India is seen as the bad guy by rich countries because it stands up for its right to feed its citizens at reasonable prices. This is good public policy and has nothing to do with trade. It is obscene that any international institution would prevent countries taking such action, least of all when that action is being called for by rich states who subsidise their own agriculture to the hilt.

“But rather than engaging with these serious concerns, rich countries spent this summit trying to force new issues onto the world – like e-commerce which is simply a charter for the profits of the big tech companies, Google, Amazon and their like. This charter would have made it harder for us to protect our data, the ‘new oil’ of the global economy, and harder for governments to tax and regulate those corporations.

“This is the wrong direction entirely and plays into the hands of bullies like Donald Trump who want to rip up all global rules and let the rule of the strongman prevail. Given what was on the table here, collapse was the best possible outcome. Those responsible are the rich countries like Britain whose continued intransience shows they have no interest in solving the fundamental injustice of current WTO rules, and instead want to turn the whole world into a corporate playground.”


Photo: Fuera OMC

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