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IWA opposes WTO Negotiations on Trade Facilitation

The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) opposes the World Trade Organization negotiations on “Trade Facilitation” as we believe that it will push people further into poverty and hunger. IWA thus endorses the Our World is Not For Sale (OWINFS) letter against the corporate interest negotiations (please see below) and calls on our members and networks to do the same.

Request for Endorsement – letter against corporate interest negotiations on “Trade Facilitation” in the WTO by the Our World is Not For Sale (OWINFS) Network

Dear Friends and Allies,

At the World Economic Forum this past January, Trade Ministers agreed to try to finalize negotiations on a binding agreement on “Trade Facilitation” for the upcoming 9th Ministerial meeting of the WTO this coming December in Bali, Indonesia. Trade Facilitation as a major objective of developed countries and their corporate interests, as it would lock-in binding rules on customs and border procedures. There are many reasons that members of Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network, which developed the attached letter, opposes these negotiations. If such a deal is concluded, developing country governments would have to spend scarce resources to facilitate trade (mostly to facilitate imports) by modernizing port operations, which would be siphoned off from national budget money for basic needs like health care and education. If a deal is struck in Bali, the likelihood of developed countries agreeing to any demands for changes to existing WTO rules, that developing countries have been demanding for years, would be even more curtailed. Thus, we are engaging in a major push to educate people as to the dangers of these negotiations, and to ask for your support in opposing any agreement on them in the WTO.

Please send your organizational endorsements to the attached letter WITH COUNTRY to Mani at by Friday, May 30. Please also think about who else in your region or country may be interested in stopping the Bali package, or the biggest offensive issue of the developed countries in the WTO right now. And also, if you have any port/customs/shipment processing trade unions in your area, please help make the connection, share this letter with them, etc. so we can build a movement of people who would be affected by negotiations on this issue!

Cheers Deborah

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