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19 December 2005

Barrett accuses West of double standards following WTO ‘letdown’

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today accused the world’s richest countries of double standards after a disappointing end to the WTO talks in Hong Kong which failed to produce any significant deal on world trade.

After six days of talks in Hong Kong, the 149 members of the World Trade Organisation today unveiled a modest package of reforms aimed at freeing up global trade.

Although today’s agreement looks to have saved the so-called Doha round of meetings from collapse, the outcome in Hong Kong has been roundly criticised both by trade ministers and campaign groups.

John Barrett, who is a member of the International Development Select Committee said:

“When over 200,000 people marched through Edinburgh in June 2005 they were calling for their politicians to take action to end poverty across the world. Sadly, it seems that world leaders are still not getting the message.

“For too long the public have been way ahead of the politicians on this issue. This weekends talks were a real chance for world leaders to make up lost ground.

“Unfortunately, all we have been given after 6 days of talks is a patchwork agreement that will do very little to help the worlds poorest countries.

“Trade-distorting subsidies by the EU and the US are a barrier to helping poor countries trade their way out of poverty, yet each is blaming the other for the present deadlock. It is time for the West to end these shameful double standards and take real action to follow up on the promises made at Gleneagles.”

 

Notes

· John Barrett is a member of the International Development Select Committee.

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.