On WTO-Seattle Meeting

Friday, November 5, 1999

Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The United States and the other G 7 countries are trying to link labour issues with trade in the forthcoming WTO meeting at Seattle. The United States has proposed that the WTO establish a working group on trade and labour. The Government of India has to strongly oppose this linkage of trade and labour issues.

The recent announcement by the US that it will not accept the Indian proposal to bring the textiles quota on the agenda of the WTO talks shows clearly that the USA is pushing its own agenda to the detriment of the developing countries. The agenda of the WTO conference should not take up any new issue except after a review of the 5-year working of the WTO and after the concerns of all the countries are taken into account.

The Vajpayee government must place before parliament the issues which require decisions in the WTO before any commitments are made on behalf of India.