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Further Reading: United Nations
REPORTS 2005:  Dec. 14    Dec. 19
 
A Deal, But No Victory at the WTO Meeting in Hong Kong
Sixth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (WTO MC6) in Hong Kong 
Eagle Forum Correspondent Cathie Adams reporting from Hong Kong, China.
Dec. 19, 2005
A deal was struck this morning after the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (WTO MC6) deadline in Hong Kong, but no one called it a victory. Instead, Hong Kong was simply an "important staging post" as nations, including the U.S., agreed to continue negotiating subsidies and tariffs. Talks will pick up again next March.

Listed below are some of the outcomes of the WTO MC6, which beg the questions: If the goal is to create "fair" trade, then why are the outcomes consistently in favor of "poor" countries? Wouldn't "fair" trade seek to create an even playing field, rather than to water down or eliminate trade protections from only "rich" countries?

  • "Rich" countries agreed to end farm subsidies for their farmers and cotton growers by 2013.

  • "Little progress" was made on service industries, a plan to open up every job globally to any willing worker, thereby destroying national sovereignty and national security.

  • "Poor" nations were granted duty-free, quota-free access to "rich" nations' products.

  • "Rich" countries agreed to help build supply-side capacities for "poor" countries improving infrastructure, productivity and training.

  • The so-called Doha Round trade talks that began in 2001 in Doha, Qatar, must be completed by the end of 2006.

  • The U.S. President's unconstitutional "fast track" authority will expire mid-2007, which the American delegation called the "drop dead date" for completion of Doha. (Fast Track is the unconstitutional provision that allows the executive branch to force agreements through Congress with mandatory deadlines, severely limited debate and no amendments for laws that evade the two-thirds treaty requirement by the U.S. Senate.)

The bottom line is that even though the U.S. delegation in Hong Kong made commitments to the 149-members of the WTO, the U.S. Constitution directs that it is the authority of the legislative branch (the U.S. Congress), rather than the executive branch to decide trade rules.

Let your Congressman know what you think about the "deal" that the U.S. administration agreed to in Hong Kong.


 
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