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Mad Mike Has Left The (WTO) Building!

GATT Watchdog

PO Box 1905, Christchurch 8015, Aotearoa New Zealand

30 August 2002

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Mad Mike Has Left The (WTO) Building!
A Legacy of Moore Market Misery - Mad Mike Finally Gets On His Bike

GATT Watchdog, once dubbed "grumpy geriatric communists who tuck their shirts into their underpants" by World Trade Organisation Director-General Mike Moore stood by its support for Moore's candidacy for the position on the day he finishes his three-year term.

The anti-corporate globalisation group is based in Moore's former hometown, Christchurch.

Moore's appointment followed an acrimonious battle for the position against Thai former Deputy Prime Minister, Supachai Panitchpakdi, who takes over from Moore at the WTO.

"We always said that Mike was our secret weapon, and that his time at the WTO would help to bring internal divisions among its members to a head. We said that his free market zealotry could do a lot to delegitimise the WTO from inside. We were right. Within months of his appointment, Seattle happened," said GATT Watchdog spokesperson, Aziz Choudry.

"The debacle of Seattle, and worldwide protests against the WTO and other bodies promoting the global free market agenda highlighted the deep divisions among governments and growing opposition to this economic model from communities across the world."

"Before Moore took the helm, with the backing of the USA, few knew about the WTO. His partisan role in promoting the interests of the powerful countries which dominate the 144 member body, coupled with his absurd claims to be a champion for small countries has brought him into widespread ridicule especially in the Third World."

"Moore's free market zealotry has irritated many Third World governments. So has his consistent unwillingness to listen to their concerns about the impacts of trade and investment liberalization. Not content with being part of a government which literally "Rogered" New Zealand in the 1980s, he has sought to roger the world"

"Dr Supachai described September 11 as "a blessing in disguise" for the WTO. Only September 11 and the so-called "war on terror" saved Moore's bacon. They have given the US and the EU another stick to bully governments of the Third World that had questioned claims that further trade and investment liberalisation would benefit their countries and stood up to pressure to further open up their economies. Like the war on terror, governments were given an ultimatum about free trade and investment - you are either with us, or against us."

"International support for the US war on terror is crumbling. So too can we expect the carefully-crafted image of Doha as a "success" for the WTO to fade away as many governments continue to question the benefit of trade and investment liberalisation, and the double standards of the most ardent advocates of "free trade", like the USA."

"A World Bank study released last week, based on a review of national surveys of household income in 88 developing countries, concluded that among poor countries -- those with per-capita incomes of less than US $5,000 a year -- trade and investment liberalization increases inequality" said Mr Choudry.

ENDS


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