UN FAIR TRADE:
Rich countries spend $1 BILLION EVERY DAY on agricultural subsidies.
The worlds 48 POOREST COUNTRIES account for less than 0.4 per cent of global exports.
- human development report 2000
When developing countries export to rich-countries, they face TARIFF BARRIERS that are 4 times higher than those encountered by rich countries.
Those barriers cost them $100 BILLION A YEAR - twice as much as they receive in aid.
For every ONE DOLLAR given to poor countries in aid, they lose TWO DOLLARS to rich countries because of unfair trade barriers against their exports.
The WTO has ELEVATED CORPORATE POWER above the sovereign powers of all nation states.
The WTO has panels composed of NON-ELECTED TRADE SPECIALISTS who act as judges over economic issues, placing them beyond the reach of national sovereignty and popular control.
Many of the WTO member governments are not democratic.
The people of CUBA, MALAYSIA, EGYPT and many other countries - and CHINA, which will join the WTO soon - have no real say about what their ministers decide in the WTO.
And since the WTO operates by consensus, these dictatorships can bloc initiatives by 'democratic' governments in response to popular pressures.
Officially, decisions in the WTO are made by voting or consensus.
How-ever, developed countries, especially the so-called QUAD countries (U.S., CANADA, JAPAN and the EUROPEAN UNION), repeatedly have made key decisions in closed meetings, excluding other WTO nations.
WTO AND THE EVIRONMENT:
EURO HORMONES IN MEAT RULE:
In 1989 the European Union BANNED THE USE of synthetic hormones, effectively excluding U.S. hormone-treated beef from Europe.
In 1996 the European Parliament voted an astonishing 366-0 in favor of reauthorizing the ban, formally backing their citizens and scientists' belief that hormones used in meat production INCREASE CANCER RATES.
In 1998 a non-elected WTO panel ruled that the E.U. MUST ALLOW U.S. hormone treated beef into the E.U.
This clearly democratic process by the European Parliament was overturned by the WTO ruling jeopardizing the right of nations to limit the risks to which their citizens will be exposed.
US SEA TURTLES RULE:
Sea turtles, are severely endangered.
Prior to 1989, 150,000 sea turtles were drown in shrimp nets worldwide every year.
From 1989 to 1998, under a provision of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. was able to protect sea turtles by banning shrimp caught without turtle safe methods.
This ban cut the drowning of sea turtles in shrimp nets down to about 2,000 annually.
In 1998 a NON-ELECTED WTO panel ruled against this U.S. ban.
This WTO ruling was A PRECEDENT that will now virtually wipe out the use of environmental safeguards in trade at the WTO.
Every nation has the responsibility to be concerned about the global commons, such as the oceans.
Bans on imports that do not use environmentally safe methods has been an effective recourse to prevent environmental devastation due to the corporate drive for profit.
The richest 50 million people in EUROPE and NORTH AMERICA have the same income as 2.7 BILLION POOR PEOPLE.
The slice of the cake taken by 1% IS THE SAME SIZE as that handed to the POOREST 57%.
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