WTO 2017 still a bane to farmers and peoples of the world – PCFS

December 14, 2017

The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) reiterates its condemnation of the World Trade Organization in time for the opening of the WTO’s 11th ministerial conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina this December 11, 2017.

We have always taken the stand that the WTO reflects, perpetuates and worsens the grave disparity in wealth and power between advanced capitalist countries and developing countries. It means greater control by monopoly-capitalist corporations over the lives and livelihood of the working peoples and majority of peoples of developing countries – and therefore a further attack on food sovereignty. It is therefore a bane to farmers, indigenous peoples, small-scale food producers and all peoples of the world.

The so-called “power vacuum” in the WTO resulting from changes in the US’ position on trade is a myth. Monopoly-capitalist control over the entity is so entrenched that regime changes in the US can only minimally affect the WTO’s composition, rules and functioning. Donald Trump’s rhetoric will surely be overrun by the US’ monopoly-capitalist interest of using the WTO to dominate world trade, even as it continues to pursue more aggressive bilateral free trade agreements with different countries.

The leaders of Latin American countries fronting for the current meeting of the WTO – Argentina’s Mauricio Macri, Brazil’s Michel Temer, Paraguay’s Horacio Cartes and Uruguay’s Tabare Vazquez – are speaking for the continent’s overlord, the US, and not for their farmers and people. They are known for implementing neoliberal and repressive measures in their own countries and are themselves targets of people’s protests. They are trying, in vain, to prettify the ugly monster that is the WTO.

Macri’s rhetoric of facing up to the challenges of the 21st century rings hollow because the WTO is an entity that perpetuates neocolonial rule over the farmers and peoples of the world. His rhetoric of making the WTO “more inclusive” deceives no one, given the domination by monopoly-capitalist governments over the entity, highlighted by the banning of civil society and people’s organizations from the ministerial conference.

The concrete measures being announced in relation to the ministerial conference – e-commerce, domestic regulation disciplines, and agriculture and fisheries subsidies elimination – pose further threats to the farmers and peoples of the world. They would mean greater monopoly-capitalist control over world trade, economies of developing countries, and agriculture and food systems. They would mean greater profits for big capitalists and poverty and hunger for the farmers and all peoples of the world.

We are calling on the farmers and peoples of the world, their organizations and advocates, to intensify our struggle against monopoly-capitalist instruments like the WTO. Let us oppose the policies that the WTO and similar entities seek to impose upon us. Let us expand and strengthen our organizations and assert food sovereignty. Let us struggle for a world where monopoly-capitalists and their instruments like the WTO is a thing of the past. Let us fight for a future where popular and food sovereignty, social justice, genuine equality among countries, and trade for the people prevail. ###