#End WTO and Resist the Free Trade Regime
In November 2005, amidst preparations for heightening campaigns and actions across the globe in the lead up to the Hong Kong Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Focus on the Global South published a little campaign handbook called the Derailers' Guide to the WTO.
WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo has openly declared that the “negotiating agenda” for the Bali Conference can extend beyond that of the Doha Round. On October 7, he told reporters in New Delhi: “Bali is in my view absolutely critical in establishing the conditions for moving forward in areas other than the deliverables we are looking for in December, not only in the Doha development agenda but also in other issues which are trade-related and also of interest to member-countries.”[i]
The U.S. Standard
The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a free trade agreement being negotiated by nine countries in the Asia Pacific Region: Singapore; Brunei; Malaysia; and Vietnam from ASEAN; Australia and New Zealand from the Pacific; Chile and Peru from Latin America, and the United States from North America.
When the WTO was created, the trade negotiations were mainly decided by the U.S., Europe, Japan and Canada, and their decisions were imposed on the rest of developing countries. At that time, China and Russia were not members of the WTO. Trade negotiations then, in a way, reflected the share that these countries had in global trade. The “big four” accounted for 68 percent of total exports in 1994. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)—that didn’t exist as an alliance then—accounted for only 6.5 percent of total exports.
One of the key components of the Bali Package which will decide the outcome of the 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali is the India proposal, on behalf of G-33, on food stockholding for food security purposes. This proposal aims to widen ‘policy space’ by changing the Agreement of Agriculture (AOA) in order to ensure food security of large populations of hungry Indians. This will also allow India’s government to continue procurement of wheat and rice at the minimum support price (MSP) from low-income resource-poor producers (comprising approx.