Brussels 03 July 2006 (ICFTU OnLine): Following the breakdown of the trade negotiations on Saturday at the WTO, the next steps in the process must shift the focus to an outcome that delivers on development and employment.
The talks failed mainly because of the continued insistence of industrialised countries on far-reaching access into developing countries’ markets for industrial products, while failing to address the inequities of trade in agriculture.
“It should now be clear to everyone that If there is to be any progress towards an agreement, it must demonstrably meet developmental needs and should not ask developing countries to trade off access to their industrial markets against hypothetical benefits in agriculture,” said ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder.
Deep tariff cuts in NAMA would lead to a large number of job losses in developing countries and to high adjustment costs. It would also render developing countries unable to implement trade policies in the future to develop their economies and meet the needs of their people.
“This would be an unacceptable outcome, in view of the development mandate that the negotiators were given in Doha,” added Guy Ryder.
“No sustainable solution can involve the worsening of poverty and unemployment in countries that already face a major challenge in creating decent jobs for the unemployed and underemployed. Moreover, it remains absolutely true that as the ILO Constitution states, poverty anywhere is a danger to prosperity everywhere – in other words, an agreement that undermines development in developing countries would undermine the situation of working people in the industrialised countries as well.”
Any acceptable way forward must avoid imposed and unbalanced solutions.
Rather, a bottom-up process based on inclusive consultations should be implemented, which ultimately should lead to a balanced and development-friendly agreement.
The ICFTU therefore considers it is essential that :
Click here to review ICFTU’s report ”NAMA SIMULATIONS FOR LABOUR INTENSIVE SECTORS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES” on the potentially devastating effect on employment of NAMA in developing countries.