News Release

Globalization Without Representation?


The following analysts, many in Seattle, are available for comment on the World Trade Organization:

Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Wallach said: “President Clinton’s PR stunt on the child labor treaty is the height of hypocrisy, given he knows that absent major WTO changes – which he has refused to demand – countries are explicitly forbidden from prohibiting child labor products from entering their markets.”
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An editor at Z Magazine, Albert said: “Politicians quite generally say one thing, for appearances’ sake, and then do other things, for the sake of their true constituencies – in Clinton’s case, corporate capital.”
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Fischer is director of the Trade and Forest program of the Pacific Environment and Resources Center, which recently won a lawsuit against the U.S. government for violating federal law by barring environmental groups from consultation on the Global Free Logging Agreement. She said: “Clinton just proclaimed that he would make environmental concerns central to the WTO; but on the same day, the U.S. government told environmental groups that they would not include them on equal standing with industry groups in negotiations.”
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On the 15th anniversary of the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, a consortium of groups is releasing a report, “Beyond the Chemical Century.” Neil Tangri of Essential Action said: “Bhopal was a harbinger of corporate globalization. Union Carbide moved its operations to India to cut corners, cut safety measures and cut costs. It resulted in 16,000 dead, hundreds of thousands injured and a community destroyed. This is the kind of globalization the WTO is promoting.”
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The public education director for the Free Burma Coalition, Dohrs said: “Massive use of forced labor caused the International Labor Organization to suspend membership of the Burmese junta last June. Burma’s continuing membership in the WTO brings forced labor and ‘free trade’ under the same umbrella.”
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Director of Corporate Watch, Karliner said: “The WTO’s corporate agenda is advanced through trade advisory groups appointed by the U.S. government which are almost exclusively composed of business representatives and entities like the Seattle Host Organization, which is run by Microsoft and Boeing.”
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Founder and executive director of Ustawi, which fosters alternative economic and environmental solutions in Africa, Petros said: “Undemocratic institutions like the WTO, World Bank and IMF are forcing privatization on poorer countries, and that is having a horrible effect on the lives of millions of people.”
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Director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes and author of the recent study, “Americans on Globalization,” Kull said: “A majority of Americans feel that the process of globalization is something positive. But a strong majority feel that the way it is developing advances business interests at the expense of the environment and workers in this country and abroad.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (206) 770-9544 or (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167