URGENT REQUEST FOR ENDORSEMENT of global union and civil society letter on the WTO

October 02, 2017
You may be aware PSI works with global civil society groups to ensure trade agreements benefit all and not just large corporations and the most developed countries. PSI works closely with the group Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) and has endorsed the letter regarding the 11th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 10–13, 2017.

PSI has endorsed the letter and urges its affiliates to support this move by adding their name to the sign on letter.

You may be aware PSI works with global civil society groups to ensure trade agreements benefit all and not just large corporations and the most developed countries. PSI works closely with the group Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) and has endorsed the letter regarding the 11th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 10–13, 2017.

After years of languishing while other “free trade” agreements were negotiated, big business has turned its focus back to the WTO, particularly among the high-tech sector that now includes five of the seven largest corporations globally. They are determined to achieve in WTO what they have yet to secure in any other deal: new rules that will lock in profit-making opportunities in the digitalized economy of the future. The prize they seek in Argentina is a mandate for new negotiations under the rubric of “e-commerce,” but the reality is that these new rules will further constrain the ability of governments to promote prosperity and reduce inequality, even as they suffer the political consequences of the revolts of communities that have been left behind. 

In addition to e-commerce, negotiations are heating up on several key areas related to trade in services that would limit the ability of governments to constrain corporate behavior in the public interest. Talk of likely outcomes from Buenos Aires also includes new rules to discipline fish subsidies that are contributing to a global over-fishing crisis – but these new rules may be a hidden vehicle for helping big fleets at small fisher folk’s expense. 

Unfortunately, negotiators are not paying as much attention to what should be the core agenda: transforming the global agriculture rules that restrict developing countries from ensuring food security for their populations while allowing big agribusiness nearly limitless public subsidies; and increasing flexibilities for developing countries to use trade for their own development.   

We feel an urgent need to express civil society demands for the transformation of the current system and strong opposition to the expansion of the WTO. Thus, we are requesting your endorsement of the attached letter. We will be delivering the letter to WTO members in advance of the exclusive, anti-democratic and un-transparent “mini-Ministerial” which is set to occur in Morocco in early October. Thus, please send ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS (with the name spelled out, not just the acronym!) WITH COUNTRY to Deborah James at djames@cepr.net by October 3, 2017. Please feel free to forward to other organizations who would be interested. 

Download the letter (Word) in English - French - Spanish

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