GATS and WTO NEW ISSUES
noimage The Alliance opposes the expansion of the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the return of the MAI in the guise of new negotiations on investment, procurement and competition proposed at the WTO ministerial meeting in Doha in November 2001.

The materials below provide specific tools for local organizing and for learning more about the issues. A good place to start is with the booklet "In Whose Service? GATS and the FTAA."

STOP THE GATS ATTACK

The GATS Attack is going on right now. WTO member countries are making demands on each other to open up specific services to foreign competition. These are called "Requests" and are supposed to be filed with the WTO by June 30, 2002. Then countries are supposed to respond to the Requests with "Offers" of what they will open up. Once these bilateral deals are cut, they will apply to all WTO member countries, not just to the ones that cut the deal.

These are supposed to be secret negotiating documents. You'll wake up one morning and you won't know what hit you. But the cat is out of the bag. At least one cat. The EU requests have been leaked. Now it is time to demand that all requests and offers be made public.

THE COMEBACK OF THE MAI

While the Mulitlateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) is history, the WTO is going down a road which could result in the comback of the MAI and more.

When the WTO Fourth Ministerial was held in Doha, Qatar in November 2001, the trade ministers agreed to a Ministerial Declaration which listed new issues for negotiation -- investment, competition, trade facilitation and government procurement. The developing countries agreed to this agenda under great pressure from the industrialized countries. India insisted that the negotiations should not proceed without "explicit consensus" of the member countries at the Fifth Ministerial scheduled for 2003 and threatened to block the declaration unless this provision was adopted. This language was reflected in a statement from the chair of the negotiations, Qatari Trade Minister Youssef Kemal. Since this language is not in the declaration itself, there has been some efforts by industrialized countries to circumvent it.

Now is the time to organize against the comeback of the MAI and the loss of local democratic authority.

Stop the GATS Attack
The GATS Attack is going on right now. WTO member countries are making demands on each other to open up specific services to foreign competition. Here is what is going on and what you can do.
Local Resolutions: Don't Trade Away Our Democracy
The expansion of GATS and the proposed WTO new issues -- investment, competition and government procurement -- threatens local democratic authority. Here is what you can do to get local resolutions passed and involve local officials.
Learning More About GATS
To get up to speed on GATS, here are some very useful resources.
WTO: Shrink or Sink Petition
The Alliance belongs to Our World Is Not For Sale, a global coalition opposing GATS and the expansion of the WTO. This petition has been signed by 380 organization in 58 countries around the world.

views