The World Trade Organization is still attempting to recover from
their disasterous meeting in Seattle in 1999. The combination of
the mass worldwide protests and the resistance of the developing
countries to the agenda of the industrial powers have left the organization
struggling to make any progress towards its vision of globalization.
The World Trade Organization
(WTO) is the international organization charged with enforcing trade
rules including the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The problem is that its
decisions are generally made in private, influenced by the multinational
corporations and their allies in the developed countries' governments,
including the United States. Given its corporate bias, many decisions
favor expansion of the power, rights and dominance of the largest
corporations, at the expense of smaller, local businesses from
the communities they serve. WTO decisions
are not accountable - the general population of the world's countries
have little say in them. However, everyone has to live
with the economic, environmental and social effects of these decisions,
many of which affect basic things such as worker wages and health, clean air
and water, and local production, prices and sovereignty.
World Trade Watch - The National Radio Project, Corporate Watch, and the Institute for Public Accuracy are
co-producing a series of radio programs during the WTO meetings. You may catch them on the your local radio station or
on the internet.