Behind the world trade deal

Submitted by AWL on 15 August, 2004 - 10:29

The trade deal struck by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last week is "a blueprint for deeper trade liberalisation that will not deliver poverty reduction to the poorest countries," according to the World Development Movement (WDM).
Reports in the press hailed the deal as breathing life back into the Doha "development" round following the collapse of trade talks in Cancun, Mexico last September.

But while some concessions to poorer countries were made, the overall agreement strengthens the world neo-liberal economic order, and it will not tackle the pressing issues facing workers around the world.

The agreement intensifies pressure on developing countries to place more of their service sectors under the free trade rules of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

Peter Hardstaff head of policy at WDM commented:

"…this latest trade deal represents another failure to address the fundamental issue of reform…

"The idea that poor countries should trade-off opening their own markets for agricultural subsidy reform by the rich is the flaw that lies at the heart of this trade round. Free trade will not lift people out of poverty. We need Trade Justice instead."

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