December 16, 2005

WHERE ARE ALL THE ANTI-POVERTY CAMPAIGNERS WHEN WE NEED THEM?:

Poorest nations join forces for trade deal
RAJESH MAHAPATRA IN HONG KONG


DEVELOPING countries closed ranks yesterday to push their agenda at the World Trade Organisation talks, as the United States and the European Union exchanged accusations of intransigence - with time running out for a global deal that could lift millions out of poverty.

Trade officials from more than 110 poor countries plan to meet today to forge a common negotiating stance on some their vital concerns, said Madun Dulloo, the trade minister from the tiny African nation of Mauritius. He said poor countries needed to work more closely to make sure the development agenda of the so-called Doha round of trade talks remains in focus. [...]

Developing nations decided to join forces after the United States and Japan backtracked on a proposal to allow duty-free and quota-free imports from the 32 least developed countries. The countries, which have an annual per-capita income of less than £425, want duty-free access for all products, but the US and Japan say they want to be able to limit the list of products and countries. For instance, the US is reluctant to give duty-free access to textile products from Bangladesh. Japan has problems with putting rice on the list.

A US trade representative, Rob Portman, said that it would be difficult for him to defend duty-free access for Bangladeshi textiles because those exports "are incredibly competitive".


If you were cynical, you might think the folks who claim to want to help poor nations actually want to keep them dependent on aid and prevent their developing.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 16, 2005 7:58 AM
Comments

If the poverty goes away, so does the cushy NGO gig.
This is what we call a "Well, duh!" moment.*

*Not all members of NGO's are that cynical, but I bet the one's at the top are.

Posted by: Mikey at December 16, 2005 8:14 AM

"If"? And you're not cynical right now?

Posted by: Brandon at December 16, 2005 10:54 AM

Of course I'm a little cynical about a lot of things. I'm human, and I know what that is.

Posted by: Mikey at December 16, 2005 1:04 PM
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