The IFCTU on the Doha talks:

As trade negotiators began a marathon high-stakes discussion at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva on 27 July, the world’s largest trade union body the ICFTU, jointly with the Paris-based TUAC and the ITGLWF representing textiles and clothing workers, criticized the WTO negotiations for ignoring the worsening impact of trade on peoples’ lives and working conditions around the world. “Unfortunately, while WTO trade negotiators pore over the fine print of their schedule for completing their Doha Round negotiations, the very basis of support for a multilateral trading system is being cut away from under their feet,” commented Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the ICFTU. “Governments must raise their sights and tackle the basic social and development questions at the heart of the inequity and injustice that characterize world trade today. Otherwise they will fail to mobilize support among their own populations for completing, ratifying and implementing whatever trade deal may ultimately be concluded.”

By the end of the year, whilst trade negotiators strive to make progress in the “Doha Round” that originally should have been concluded by 31 December 2004, millions more workers in vulnerable sectors around the world will have seen their jobs undermined as multinational companies continue to shift their production to China and other countries where production is cheaper due to violations of basic workers’ rights. Nothing in the framework of WTO trade talks being presented this week tackles this social void at the heart of the world trading system.

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