War on Want condemns UK trade white paper

9 February 2011 - 3:34pm
Press release

War on Want has issued the following statement in response to the UK government's new white paper on trade and investment, launched by Rt Hon Vince Cable MP in parliament today:

"Vince Cable seems to have learned nothing from the crisis of the past three years. It beggars belief that the government is prepared to jeopardise global economic recovery by pressing for yet more deregulation of world markets.

"This white paper is a serious threat to jobs and businesses in the world's poorest countries, already reeling from a crisis they did not cause. Free market fundamentalism was behind the economic meltdown. It is sheer madness for the government to press for more liberalisation of trade.

"The government's call to complete the Doha round of world trade talks during 2011 is a slap in the face for the world's poorest countries. All studies show that the least developed countries will lose out significantly from a conclusion to the Doha round, yet the government presses on regardless. The white paper is both reckless and irresponsible in its pursuit of export markets at any cost.”

War on Want notes that the government's £110bn estimate of gains from conclusion of the Doha round is double the estimate generally agreed between academics and trade experts. The vast majority of these gains will go to exporters in the most powerful economies, including emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India. Most developing countries will see no increases at all, and many will see their terms of trade decline as a result of concluding the Doha round of WTO negotiations.

War on Want supports the call from the Africa Trade Network, a coalition of trade experts from across Africa, to suspend the Doha round of world trade negotiations immediately.

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