The leading international group of trade unions was not surprised the latest round of world trade talks has collapsed.
That’s because International Confederation of Free Trade Unions General Secretary Guy Ryder said no worldwide trade pact could succeed in the present political environment without meeting workers’ concerns.
On July 24, trade ministers from the U.S., Europe, Brazil, India, Japan and Australia announced “suspension” of the 5-year-old “Doha Round” of trade talks. Both the U.S. and Europe said the big sticking point was each other’s farm subsidies.
Ryder said that even had the ministers reached an agreement, it would have foundered, because trade treaties need to cover workers’ needs--and don’t.
“Any trade talks that don't encompass changing unfair trade practices simply cannot succeed in the current international context. The ICFTU continuously raised its concerns about…proposals which lack any proper assessment of the impact on decent work and workers' rights, and questioned the benefits for workers worldwide,” he said.
"You simply cannot embark upon a process of changing world trade rules without assessing the effect these changes will have on people's lives,” Ryder added. He said governments should “get back to the drawing board and get serious about setting up trade rules that put decent work at the heart of the system.”
This article was written by Press Associates, Inc., news service. Used by permission.