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WTO Think-In

Stopping the expansion of the WTO in Seattle was a vital win for the environmental, consumer, labor, and religious groups long critical of the WTO's record. The next step is to push for the turnaround of the WTO's scope, authority, and decision making.

Public Citizen and NGOs worldwide are gearing up for a "Fix It or Nix It" campaign to urge member states either to make the WTO accountable to working families and the environment or to pull out of the WTO altogether. Some basic consensus already exists around the steps necessary to prune back WTO's excesses. For example: the WTO should not question the levels of health safeguards imposed by national governments, as long as they apply equally to domestic and foreign goods; water and life forms should be excluded from all trade-rule applications; and the implementation of international environmental treaties or UNICEF agreements should be immune from WTO authority as long as the rules apply equally to domestic and foreign goods.

Tough fixes such as these are necessary to get the WTO to become anywhere near an institution that reflects the goals and values of people, not just big businesses. If these fixes are not implemented, concerned citizens worldwide will call for their nations' withdrawal from the WTO?in terms of membership and of funding. The WTO as it now exists is fundamentally flawed, and the voices of the critics have increasingly resonated with ordinary people. The WTO and its proponents have a simple choice: either the WTO bends or it will break.