New World Trade Treaty Plowed Under
Posted on Jul 30, 2008
The World Trade Organization talks in Geneva finally imploded Wednesday, as negotiations over farm subsidies and labor standards collapsed into an immovable standstill between wealthy and poorer countries. The talks, defended heavily by the “developed world,” are seen by critics as an instrument to serve corporate interests.
Anti-globalisation groups on Wednesday hailed the collapse of talks on a new world trade treaty as a triumph for farmers, workers and the poor around the globe and a blow against “big business.”
And even mainstream labour and farm groupings argued that the deal on the table at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha round negotiations over the past few days was so bad that it was just as well that it had been abandoned.
“Victory for small farmers, workers, civil society and developing nations,” declared the U.S.-based Public Citizen group, which for over a decade has campaigned against the WTO and its drive to liberalise international trade.
“The mouldering corpse” of the round “should have been buried years ago,” said its trade specialist Lori Wallach.
The failure of the Geneva negotiations “is a welcome respite for poor countries” in the face of an aggressive push by the rich powers for more free trade despite the global food and fuel crisis, said the Manila-based Focus on the Global South.
Sssh, No Talking: WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy arrives at the Geneva talks, which collapsed Wednesday when countries were unable to compromise over tariffs and farm subsidies.