World Trade Organisation

Rich countries plan exclusive e-commerce deal for global tech companies at Davos

January 29, 2019: The elite business and government World Economic Forum meeting last week was a perfect setting for Australia and 70 other mostly industrialised country governments to announce exclusive plans for an e-commerce trade deal that was rejected after fierce debate by the majority of the 164 WTO members who met in Argentina in December.

Union welcomes Labor policy for local jobs in government procurement

January 22, 2019: The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union President Andrew Dettmer yesterday welcomed the announcement of an ALP national procurement policy that will apply to  Commonwealth government purchasing of $50 billion per year. He said it would create more local manufacturing jobs and training in regional Australia, and congratulated union members who campaigned for the policy.

Parliamentary committee to review WTO procurement agreement - submissions due February 1

3 December 2018: The Australian government has finally  made public the terms of its accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) on November 30, 2018, after four years of secret negotiations.

Our concerns are that these commitments may limit the ability of federal or state governments to use government procurement decisions to promote local development.

Nobody wins in Trump’s trade war

June 1, 2018: President Trump last month imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from China and Japan, and has now extended these to Canada, Mexico and the EU. The pretext for these actions is that the aluminium and steel industries are essential to US national security. The US now faces tariff retaliation from all of these countries, as well as legal action through the World Trade Organisation, which is not likely to accept the national security argument.

Women’s rights groups slam WTO’s ‘pink herring’ Declaration on Women’s Economic Empowerment

13 December 2017: Over 160 women’s rights groups and allied organisations have urged WTO member governments not to agree to the proposed “Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment”, which they describe as a ‘pink herring’ intended to ‘mask the failures of the WTO and its role in deepening inequality and exploitation’.

Argentina bans community groups from World Trade Organisation Meeting, despite their being approved by the WTO

Media Release, December 1, 2017: In an unprecedented action, the Argentine government has revoked the accreditation of 63 civil society experts ― trade unionists, development advocates, digital rights activists, environmentalists, and others ― just days before the 11th Ministerial meeting of the WTO (MC11) in Buenos Aires, advising the WTO that the experts will not be allowed in the country to participate in the meeting. The majority of the rejected organizations work together through the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network.

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