Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Fair Trade Group Targets WTO with "Secret Weapon":

Fair Trade Group Targets WTO with "Secret Weapon": Mike Moore

GATT Watchdog will stage a "reception" for World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Mike Moore, from 11.30am-2pm on Monday (14 August) outside the Centra Hotel, Cashel St, Christchurch where he will address a luncheon hosted by the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce.

"Mr Moore will receive the Order of New Zealand in Wellington tomorrow. But GATT Watchdog will give him an award of our own on Monday for his work as our secret weapon destroying the WTO from inside" said a spokesman for the group which has campaigned against the GATT/WTO since 1990.

"Mike Moore sits at the extreme end of the ideological spectrum about free trade and investment. Moore's first few months as figurehead of the WTO have been very helpful in advancing our own goal of delegitimising and dismantling the WTO and other forums which promote market models of economic development as the only alternative. Moore's adherence to discredited failed economic theories regardless of their consequences, and his patronising attitude towards any who question the supposed virtues of free trade are precisely the kind of qualities that will ensure that divisions within the WTO grow wider.

"There is growing opposition to the global free market economy from peoples' movements, as protests in Seattle showed. But equally significant is the fact that many poorer countries which comprise the majority of the WTO's 136 members have become more and more frustrated and marginalised by unfair trade agreements which have proved impossible to implement and which richer countries have manipulated to their advantage. The WTO is dominated by the "Quad" of powerful governments - the USA, Japan, the EU, and Canada which then try to impose their decisions on other WTO members. Calls by Third World governments for a thorough assessment of the outcomes of existing trade and investment agreements, and their opposition to any new agreements have been ignored.

"Mike Moore masquerades as champion of the little people and an advocate for small nations at the WTO. The stark reality is that the multilateral trade framework under the WTO stands for protection for the powerful - companies and countries - and market discipline, regardless of the costs, for the rest.

"In June, the ILO World Labour Report 2000 showed that increasing trade liberalisation and the effects of globalisation have resulted in job losses and less secure work arrangements in both industrialised and Third World nations. Successive New Zealand governments have consigned tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs to the dustbin in the name of free trade, including many in Canterbury.

"Last month, in Geneva, a group of 11 developing countries told the WTO's Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture that the trade liberalisation triggered by the Uruguay Round of the GATT (which established the WTO) had broken the agricultural backbone in many developing-country economies, undermining food security, peoples' health, and sovereignty.

"Because of the breakdown of multilateral trade negotiations since the failure of the Seattle WTO Ministerial to kick off a new round of global trade talks, the Government is forced to secretively try to stitch up regional free trade agreements piece-by-piece through bilateral deals like the controversial "closer economic partnership" with Singapore.

"Big business - especially the transnational corporations which dominate the global economy - continues to try to shape global economic policy-making via privileged access to trade negotiators. In the lead up to Seattle, New Zealand's chief trade negotiator said: "We very much want to ensure that New Zealand's approach to the [WTO] negotiations is dictated by the business sector's trading needs and priorities". The WTO system also helps governments to reinforce domestic economic reforms. The human havoc caused by 15 years of market reforms and the reckless throwing open of the New Zealand economy makes claims that what is good for big business is good for all of us look naive and illogical.

"Mike Moore's views about trade and economics and the mythical free market belong on the Lord of the Rings set with the hobbits - not in the real world."

For further comment contact: Murray Horton (03) 3663988


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>

 

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels