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

 

GATT Watchdog Announces Anti-WTO Campaign

Programme of Action Against November WTO Meetings Announced - GATT Watchdog

GATT Watchdog will mount a campaign of active opposition to the World Trade Organisation and a new round of negotiations leading up to the November 9-13th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Doha, Qatar.

GATT Watchdog is calling for a National Day of Action against the WTO on Friday 9 November.

"The venue for the WTO Ministerial may well preclude mass mobilisations outside the meetings as in Seattle. But like many of our sister organisations around the world, we are taking the issues and action back into our communities and out onto the streets", said GATT Watchdog spokesman, Aziz Choudry.

"External pressure from the growing opposition to corporate globalisation and the many internal conflicts among its 141 members are taking a heavy toll on the WTO. After the Seattle debacle, many see its credibility depending on the launch of a new round."

"New Zealand continues to put itself at the extreme end of trade and investment liberalisation in the positions the government takes in international agreements. The WTO promotes the same kinds of free market policies which the Labour-led government was elected to reject, and which once again puts the interests of big business before people. The government should declare a moratorium on negotiating any further trade and investment agreements instead of clinging to a discredited free market ideology."

"Meanwhile self-styled champions of the poor like Mike Moore and his former buddies in the Clark government claim that the best way for the lot of the world's poorest countries to improve is through further trade and investment liberalisation and the launch of a new round of trade negotiations. They are deaf dumb and blind to the fact that only last week, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), meeting in Zanzibar clearly stated their united opposition to a new round of WTO negotiations. Many Third World governments have consistently sought a review of existing WTO commitments and unfair arrangements as they question the benefits of free trade."

"Our campaign aims to support the growing opposition to the WTO and genuine debate about why New Zealand is damaging itself in getting into further commitments. This debate will occur whether or not the government listens, and in spite of a cynical charm offensive which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and big business (through the Trade Liberalisation Network) are carrying out to try to stave off domestic opposition."

"Recently, we have seen the same officials and politicians who boast of unprecedented levels of "consultation" and "dialogue" with the public, openly disregard principled and outright opposition to the Singapore and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership agreements, and make public speeches which show an unswerving commitment to concluding these agreements come hell or high water."

"Earlier this week, the government claimed it would "consult" widely on its position on the WTO. Such consultation is likely to be a farce, little more than an exercise in manufacturing consent and dismissing dissent while attempting to make people feel that their voices have been heard. It is like asking people to name their poison rather than giving them a choice whether they should be poisoned at all."

"New Zealand's free trade cheerleaders are still searching desperately for new ways to sell free trade and investment to a public grown cynical of wild unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of throwing open the economy to the vagaries of the market, dominated by global big business. But fewer people are believing the hype."

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why The Public Doesn't Always Do As Told, Even In 24 Languages


Today we were told that the Covid vaccines available to New Zealand are both halal and kosher. Good to know. And good to officially recognise that we’re no longer living in a monoculture. Reportedly, the government is putting its Covid messages in 24 different languages on its website. Yet according to its critics that’s not enough. Supposedly, we could have avoided the need for the latest lockdowns entirely if only the government had shown better communications skills... More>>


 


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>

ALSO:




Government: PHARMAC Review Announced

The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Main Benefits To Increase In Line With Wages

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>


Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels