By Lori Wallach
Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. Public Citizen is a nonprofit citizen research, lobbying and litigation group based in Washington, D.C. Public Citizen, founded in 1971, accepts neither government nor corporate funds. We have 250,000 members, mainly in the United States. Public Citizen has been a leader in the consumer and environmental movement, working in the Congress, regulatory agencies and courts and publishing books, reports and studies. Global Trade Watch is the division of Public Citizen founded in 1995 that focuses on government and corporate accountability in the globalization and trade arena. Few “trade” negotiations concern us more than the on-going negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to liberalize services. When most people think about trade, they conjure up images of ships laden with goods – sacks of coffee beans, steel beams, shoes – ferrying products between nations. And indeed, before the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement and the 1994 WTO, trade agreements exclusively set the terms for such exchange, for instance limiting cross border taxes (tariffs) and countries’ restrictions (quotas) on the amounts of goods it would allow to be imported.