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Face the Facts Mr Sutton

MEDIA RELEASE

15th September 2003

Face the Facts Mr Sutton

“The collapse of the World Trade Organisation(WTO) talks in Cancun, Mexico is a welcome victory,” said Leigh Cookson, spokesperson for GATT Watchdog.

“Developing countries will be blamed, but the fault lies with the rich countries that want to control trade on their own terms,” she added. “They tried to push WTO rules into new areas like investment, but this time the developing countries stopped them short. It is a victory to ordinary people and a testament to the thousands of protestors who risked their lives to take their message to Cancun.”

“People are sick and tired of economic changes that benefit the rich and harm the poor. They do not want a world ruled by huge Transnational Corporations who exploit workers and destroy the environment. They want control over what they eat and how they live their lives. South Korean protestor in Cancun, Kyung-Hae Lee, gave his life for that cause and we will remember him for that,” she said.

The Minister of Trade Negotiations, Mr Jim Sutton, led the New Zealand public up the garden path with false promises of greater market access for agricultural goods. In the lead up to the trade talks it was already clear that Europe and the USA were not going to cut their farm subsidies. They were only interested in new concessions in areas like investment and trade facilitation.

The majority world made its voice heard in Cancun and will not remain silent.

“We will push on in our campaign against free trade. This is one step forward. It is time that Mr Sutton faced the facts: the world does not want more trade liberalisation at the expense of the world’s people and the environment” said Leigh Cookson.

EDNS

GATT Watchdog has been opposing trade liberalisation for over ten years, especially as negotiated at the World Trade Organisation and other free trade agreements by successive New Zealand governments.

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