Statement of Lori Wallach: WTO’s Legitimacy So Weak that Ability to Agree on Anything Is Touted as Success

Statement of Lori Wallach Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch on Conclusion of Bali WTO Ministerial

By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Download the PDF

Hype about this outcome ‘saving’ the WTO reveals just how dire the WTO’s crisis of legitimacy has become. The actual deliverables were a rollback of existing WTO agricultural rules, a commitment that countries will update their customs procedures and implementation of trade benefits for least developed countries that had been agreed to years ago.
It is perverse to declare that this outcome restores the WTO’s credibility when the biggest ‘breakthrough’ was simply that yet another WTO meeting did not melt down altogether.

Consider the context of this deal: the Doha Round WTO expansion agenda remains deadlocked after more than a decade. The most apt headline to describe today’s outcome comes from Monty Python: I’m not dead yet!