Public Services Threatened Under New WTO Talks

Original Publication Date: 
15 December, 2005

Media Release:

Vital social services such as water, education and health may soon be beyond the reach of the poorest Filipinos if current World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on services liberalization are successful, according to the Our World is not for Sale (OWINFS) global coalition against the multilateral trade body.

The current round of talks on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) seek to force developing countries to commit to opening a substantial number of commercially important sectors to foreign investment, and to remove state restrictions such as those on market access and national treatment.

These principles are contained in Annex C of the draft ministerial declaration that trade ministers are negotiating at the ongoing Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong.

Annex C would eliminate poor countries