August 6, 2004
August 6, 2004 -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) this week held an informal meeting to review the request by eight developing countries to call an emergency meeting to formally address the impact of the textile quota phase-out. The removal of quotas amounts to a massive transfer of jobs and wealth in the developing world over the next few years. Those concerned countries included: Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
According to press reports, Director Supachi recognized that the impact of the quota phase-out was now a major issue that needed to be examined in-depth by the WTO. Without a consensus for an emergency meeting, consideration of the quota issue has been put off until an already scheduled meeting on October 1.
According to the Global Alliance for Fair Textile Trade (GAFTT), this meeting signaled a shift at the WTO, namely that for the first time, governments from major developing countries are demanding that the WTO take notice of the potentially devastating impact the phase-out will have on local economies.
GAFTT represents more than 98 trade groups from 51 countries that support fair trade.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33