WTO, Pet Agendas On
The Ropes After
Seattle Fiasco
From NewsHawk Inc. <>

To all those who paid with their blood and tears as a result of demonstrating against the World Trade Organization in Seattle last week: we the PEOPLE of earth, NOT those billionare/trillionare power-brokers who's little "divide-up-the-pie" party was so severely disrupted in Seattle last week, owe you a major debt of gratitude; for shaking things up so much that the WTO itself is now reeling like a punch-drunk meathead about to go down for the full count.
U.S. Labor leaders and rights activists vow to turn up the pressure and the heat on the federal government to dump much of the U.S.'s entire WTO package in the garbage where it belongs. Of particular note are indications that the U.S.'s horrendous trade policies regarding Red China are more than back on the table after the Seattle debacle, they're almost certainly going to be reformulated drastically to benefit the interests of the PEOPLE of the United States.
So, though the miserable worms from the Seattle police chief to the Mayor to hordes of federal government troublemakers of all kinds in high and low places did their best to overturn fundamental principles of democracy and stamp out the voices of the PEOPLE, the PEOPLE'S voices were nonetheless heard --at least to some extent.
The World Trade Organization is currently in bad shape, and that's GOOD!
NewsHawk® Inc.
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WTO Debacle LIkely To Embolden Trade Opposition 12-5-99
SEATTLE (Reuters) - The collapse of a new round of global trade negotiations may strengthen the hand of labor and environmental groups as they press Congress to reject President Clinton's landmark trade agreement with China.
Clinton was already gearing up for a bruising fight in the Republican-controlled Congress over the deal, which would open a wide range of Chinese markets and clear the way for Beijing to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).
But analysts said massive street protests against last week's WTO meeting in Seattle and Clinton's failure to clinch a new round of global trade negotiations during the session bode ill for his ability to muster support in Congress for China and other trade initiatives.
"It will be perceived as a major victory for those who protested," one WTO participant said of the collapse of the Seattle talks. "It further raises the stakes on China and emboldens opponents."
Fresh from victory in Seattle, labor leaders said it was only the beginning of their campaign to raise the voice of workers in trade deals like the one struck with China last month.
"The breakdown reflects the first step in a serious coming to terms with pivotal issues," said John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO 13-million member labor federation.
Teamsters Union President James Hoffa said in a CNN interview it was clear labor had newfound clout in the trade arena.
"From here on out this is going to be a coalition that's going to have to be dealt with, that's going to play a role in any type of dealing with China with regard to the Normal Trade Relations (NTR) debate that's coming up," Hoffa said.
"I look for more demonstrations in Washington to bring out people and say, 'Hey, this is a serious problem, we're not buying it,"' he said.
Labor leaders have said they would join forces with environmentalists, human rights groups and consumer advocates in opposing the trade deal with China when lawmakers take it up next year.
Congress must vote to grant Beijing permanent NTR trade privileges as part of the deal that would open China's vast market potential to U.S. businesses. Currently China's NTR, which gives it low-tariff access to U.S. markets, must be renewed each year.
The annual debate often focuses attention on Beijing's record on human rights, nuclear weapons proliferation and the environment as well as the huge U.S. trade deficit with China.
Clinton is counting on the business community to lead the fight in Congress for the China deal even though the group has long been skeptical of his commitment to free trade and his push to bring labor and environmental issues into negotiations.
Free trade Republicans were confident Congress would come around and support the China deal despite the debacle in Seattle.
"I am ready for battle," Rep. David Dreier, a leading Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives and strong supporter of China's entry into the WTO.
But he voiced doubts about Clinton's ability to lead the fight. Clinton in the past went against labor unions and other Democratic constituencies to press for his free trade agenda. Now he appears unwilling to take on groups that supported him through impeachment, Dreier said.
"That kind of thing sends a signal, it empowers the opposition," he added.
Clinton will be under intense pressure to take labor and environmental issues into account during the Congressional debate on China.
"I look forward to working with the Clinton administration with the goal of fostering a progressive trade agenda that enhances global living standards and quality of life while opening markets for U.S. exports," House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt said in a statement.
Copyright 1999 ABC News


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