WTO “Reform” in an Anti-Development Direction: Entrenching Corporate Control of the Global Economy

WTO “Reform” in an Anti-Development Direction: Entrenching Corporate Control of the Global Economy
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  • June 14, 2022 Create Date
  • June 14, 2022 Last Updated

The current crisis of monopoly capital is driving their patron states to encroach on new areas and markets to pry open for profit. Global North countries are pushing to enact more unfair trading rules for a global economy that will further serve the interests of transnational corporations.

One arena for this dangerous development is the issue of reforming the World Trade Organization at the 12th Ministerial Conference (WTO MC12). Unable to push for their agenda in the last Ministerial in Buenos Aires, rich countries are launching Joint Statement Initiatives (JSIs), “coalitions of the willing” which undertake negotiations on agenda items without an explicit mandate from past WTO Ministerials. These WTO-illegal “plurilaterals,” if legitimised at MC12, threaten to take the current dysfunction of the WTO to a more pro-corporate direction, create a nefarious precedent for bringing any issue into the WTO, and allow developed countries to bypass its supposed multilateral consensus-based model.

Contents

  • WTO Ministerial Conferences
  • What do JSIs mean for the peoples of the global South?
  • Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation
  • JSI on Digital Trade (e-Commerce)
  • Joint Initiative on Investment Facilitation for Development
  • The WTO as a failed multilateral platform for international trade
  • What can we do?

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