Fight Neoliberal Trade, Junk WTO and Advance the People’s Trade Agenda!: Page 2 of 2

Posted on 2 December 2015

WTO agreements, the US, EU, Japan and other developed countries want the Nairobi conference to commence negotiations on “new issues” – which are really old proposals that these countries have long been seeking to impose as new rules on trade and investments binding on all countries. 

These include rules on investments that would further restrict the ability of countries to regulate TNCs; competition policies that would prevent countries from favoring domestic firms over foreign investors; and government procurement rules that would prevent countries from favoring domestic suppliers over large transnational construction and service corporations. Developed countriesare also pushing for the privatization of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and public services more generally that are traditionally meant to provide essential goods and services to all.

They are also promoting Global Value Chains (GVCs) that will encourage more subcontracting and contract farming for the benefit TNCs.  The agenda of sustainable development is also being used as a pretext for promoting trade in Environmental Goods and Services (EGS) that are generally monopolized by TNCs based in the developed countries. All these would further strengthen the ability of TNCs to operate within and across borders and dictate the prices of goods and services making them unaffordable to the common people while also driving down wages, worsening labor conditions and degrading the environment.  They also rob developing countries of policy tools that are necessary for promoting sustainable development and realizing people’s rights. 

Advancing the people’s trade agenda requires fundamental changes in the current ruling system. A trade regime that truly serves the interests of the people must promote alternative forms of international exchange based on solidarity and complementarity in order to provide for the needs of the population. Respect for national sovereignty, strict regulation of the financial sector, and the promotion of national industrialization are necessary components of a pro-people trading system. The growing peoples resistance against the WTO and emerging alternatives to neoliberal trade prove that another trading system is possible – a trading system that pursues the people’s agenda.






[1] International Food Policy Research Institute. (2003). The Impact of Agricultural Trade Policies on Developing Countries. Retrieved from


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