WTO’s Midnight Deal is its last-ditch attempt to salvage itself, says IPA

(cross-posted CJN)

The Indonesian People’s Alliance (IPA) condemns in the strongest possible terms the World Trade Organization (WTO) for railroading the Bali Package as a midnight deal in a desperate attempt to stage a symbolic victory in getting a multilateral agreement and as a
face-saving scheme by the Indonesian government.

“After 12 years of impassè, the WTO makes a midnight deal as a last-ditch effort to renew its legitimacy. But this Bali deal is an omen of a more aggressive neoliberal offensive,” says Ario Adityo, national coordinator of the IPA. The Bali agreement, according to Adityo, sets the stage for a new expansion of the neoliberal agenda that is geared towards further liberalization of trade and agriculture, and privatization of services and technology.

The IPA, that just concluded a week-long People’s Global Camp and a march to the US Consulate in Bali, in its declaration called for the overhaul of the global trade regime symbolized by the WTO.

“The Bali midnight deal sells out the right to food of millions of people throughout the world who suffer hunger and malnutrition. How
can human rights be negotiated or recognized only on an interim basis?” asked Dewi Amelia Putri, coordinator of Seruni.

“The LDC package offers nothing but pious promises of assistance to poor countries. In the meantime, the longstanding trade and investment rules that favor rich countries and prevent poor countries from achieving genuine development are still intact”, Dewi continued.

This will be made worse by the new agreement on trade facilitation which impose binding obligation on third world countries to further ease the entry of goods and services from the rich countries.

Amidst all these, according to IPA, civil society organizations and lobbyists inside the WTO expressed support to the G33 proposal, which is nothing but a pitiful trade-off.

Adityo said that, “Such maneuvering only reaffirms our long-standing position against this illegitimate imperialist institution and the
call to junk the WTO.”

Meanwhile, the IPA said that the Susilo Bangbang Yudhoyono administration, in an attempt to profile Indonesia as an emerging
global powerhouse, would like to secure this deal to save face as the host government.

“The hypocrisy of this government to push the neoliberal agenda for development in the face of the impoverishment and grave inequality among is appalling and should be opposed,” concluded Adityo.

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For reference: Ario Adityo, IPA national coordinator

Tel. No.: +62-82122596222
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