The WTO under Fire
This chapter contains a review of the issues raised at the WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle, including those presented loudly out on the streets and those that emerged more quietly within the meeting itself. Much of the protest on the street in Seattle—and most of the consternation among the delegates inside the meeting rooms—could be traced to specific aspects of certain trade agreements concluded in the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, which had lasted from 1986 to 1994. The dissenters charged that the WTO system prevents governments from protecting the interests of working people displaced by import competition; favors open markets over environmental protection, labor standards, and human rights; tramples upon its member's sovereignty; is undemocratic; and internal governance tends to concentrate power among a small group of developed countries, to the detriment of less developed country interests.
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