The international free trade and investment policies and the related WTO agreements played a major role in undermining so many developing countries' economies. The proponents of tese policies, including the EU, are now urging the govenrments of the world to end their resistance to such policies within the WTO.
Amongst many other analyses and debates, the more extensive awareness of the active role of the state and of states in the purportedly highly successful 'market economies' in East Asia and South East Asia is bringing discussion of the role of state back into quite mainstream development discourse.
The controversial General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organisation has generated major social concern about the implications for the equitable provision of basic public services.
Since the current financial crisis started, none of the governments, experts or media who have called for new regulations for the financial industry have taken into account rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which actually impose extreme financial service deregulation on many WTO member countries.
An exciting development in recent years is the number of new South-South inter-governmental alliances that are emerging to defend their interests and challenge the bias of the current global trade and investment regime.
South Africa is playing a significant role in supporting and extending the power of the World Trade Organisation, a new system of global government. This not only entails South Africa surrendering its own policy-making rights and space, but also means bargaining away the South African peoples’ democratic rights to determine their country’s internal economic, environmental, social and cultural policies.
This sequel to the “Tailored for Sharks” report delves deeper into the role the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its legal system play in the corporate architecture that benefits and protects interests of Transnational Corporations (TNCs); details concrete examples of TNCs behind trade disputes; and presents the post-Bali corporate roadmap.
The WTO's crisis of legitimacy is evident in that despite deepening food, financial, economic and climate crises—to which the WTO has contributed significantly—its deregulation and liberalisation agenda remains much the same as in 2001.
The WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (the "GATS") has very much underpinned expansion without regulation and supervision, so the financial corporations had the guarantee that their expansion would be underpinned. But financial services are not the same as other services – they need special supervisory structures.
The United Kingdom is home to a particularly influential services industry lobby, which operates through an organisation called International Financial Services, London (IFSL). Two IFSL working groups, the Liberalisation of Trade in Services (LOTIS) Committee and the High-Level LOTIS Group, constitute a veritable corporate-state alliance.
Pour l''Organisation mondiale du commerce, le commerce est une valeur se situant au-dessus de toute autre considération, qu'elle soit politique, culturelle, sanitaire ou écologique. Dans la galaxie libérale, c'est une étoile aussi brillante que le FMI ou la Banque mondiale.
Ten years on from Seattle, TNI and other activists from Enlazando Alternativas have mobilised in Geneva together with the global network Our World is Not For Sale (OWINFS) to expose the role of the WTO and the "free trade" agreements in causing economic and climate crisis.
Walden Bello shares some reflections on the meaning of Seattle for change in knowledge systems, discusses how despite the deep crisis of neoliberalism, finance capital has managed to retain tremendous power, and appeals for a new comprehensive vision of the desirable society.
Today, just as faith in deregulated markets has evaporated in the nightmare on Wall Street, so too is the long reign of market fundamentalism (or neoliberalism) ending in the development arena. And, a debate over the best route to development has returned.