World Trade: The Seattle Summit
So we go as scripted and yeah see if we get Michael Moore's Right right. So. OK Savoy says that Dave Dave will do after we have that for about a little bit of. A few seconds. Stand by. I mean Rick is sort of coming up next a live special from the opening reception of the World Trade Organization. And I'm Jean Anderson of KING 5 News joined us for a look at the major issues and controversies as the WTO comes to Seattle world trade the Seattle summit next.
This is a fundamental aspect of economic health. Good evening. We are live at the exhibition center in downtown Seattle site of the Seattle holds organizations reception for the World Trade Organization. I'm going to assert of Casey TS and I'm Jean Anderson of KING 5 News Tonight our two stations have joined together to bring you a one hour broadcast on the eve of this WTO his third ministerial meeting the first in Seattle and it promises to be the biggest and the most high profile meeting in the history of the WTO. No doubt about that. Thousands of trade ministers policymakers politicians press and of course protesters will be on hand this week a Seattle becomes the center of global trade talks. Well tonight we're going to look at the critical issues that are going to be discussed along with some growing concerns about trade it's globalization and the role of the World Trade Organization itself. Trade is extremely important to Seattle and the state of Washington so one hundred five
billion dollars is tied to trade. So it's not surprising Seattle is the site for this international summit. It brings home the increasing importance of trade in our lives. Now good morning. At an early morning breakfast the Seattle hosts steering committee finalizes logistics for the ministerial meeting. It's also working very closely with the State Department. After nearly a year of planning the organizing group is ready for the World Trade Organization to descend on Seattle. Every one of those members of the WTO every observer is important. Every delegation that's coming here from an NGO every group that's coming to town including the protesters they have a right to be heard as well. More than 3000 delegates representing a hundred and sixty five nations will attend the Seattle round. They'll be covered by some 25 hundred members of the world press for four five days.
That's Seattle and in this region Washington stated they're going to be the center of attention in the world from e-commerce to the environment to aerospace to agriculture trade and its increasing role in the world economy will be the talk of this international summit during their time in Seattle. The WTO member nations will determine the agenda of critical trade issues that will be negotiated in their next round of talks. It isn't expected to be an easy process. They're arguing about what that agenda should be whether it should be comprehensive or just limited. The United States wants a limited agenda with limited topics so that they can set a time certain that it won't end. While trade issues will be the focus of the Seattle meeting but it's clear the World Trade Organization itself will be at the center of some highly charged discussion. But now the rules of international trade are becoming more and more the
subject of political debate certainly in this country and in other countries too. So what is the WTO. The World Trade Organization is based in Geneva Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a successor to get the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Ray Waldman is director of the WTO Seattle host Organization the WTO has no agreements of its own. It's merely the forum for negotiation of intergovernmental investments. So when that role the WTO administers trade agreements formed by governments it provides a forum for trade negotiations and works to settle trade disputes among its member nations. But we're driven by I mean us and our rules and we should be and every country has to abide by those rules be transparent about them and be committed to the outcome. Where is our legal grounds to appeal his decision. That's. Where the citizen's right. During an October visit to Seattle. Michael Moore
talked with opponents of the World Trade Organization. I believe it's a powerful closed door bureaucracy. We have a guy when the world leaders questions on the rise and say that she then another will ease concerns. Thought there was some back critic's Iraq question can we improve apply. I'd say yes. Question Who owns it. Government scientists. And I and I have to be convinced and some of them believe it is the job of sovereign governments to involve the people in the NGO and the business people and the environmentalist and society not the job of us that we have the secretariat we have a set of titles. The debate over the WTO will intensify this week. And like it or not it seems fitting that it's taking place in Seattle a hotbed of activism and the most trade dependent state in the US. Having this meeting here. Well our our citizens to really understand
what's happening in the world in terms of the changing economy and maybe be better related to what it means to their to their lives. Right that's Bill Stafford of the trade alliance right. I mean I had a chance to see some of the talking points that President Clinton is expected to make when he visits on Wednesday. And he's expect. To focus on the importance to the United States of providing trade opportunities to third world or developing countries now jobs in the Third World mean a loss of jobs to the workers here and that's why you're seeing so many protesters the steelworkers AFLCIO Teamsters right taking to the streets. So in addition to President Clinton's visit on Wednesday the big event is tomorrow protesting the 50000 expected to hit the streets of Seattle to show their support for Labor for workers for environmental concerns and against the WTO I will be talking more about that we hope in a few minutes here to have Michael Moore the general the director general of the WTO to join us to talk about some of those issues. Stay with us we'll be right back.
Well tomorrow a major protest march through the streets of downtown Seattle is planned by the AFL CIO. Some protesters will be calling for recognition of their points of view and a seat at the negotiating table while others take a more extreme position. They say the WTO system can't be fixed and should be dismantled in September Susan Hahn met with some of those protesters and went inside an anti WTO boot camp organized by the Ruckus Society. You know what they are they are. A. Nation. I don't want the WTO to exist. It's a I think it is an unjust form and I don't think it has any legal standing on this planet. They're not interested in fair trade. They're interested in free trade for corporations. Anti-gun activists hard up to fight corporate interests
they say trade isn't fair that it comes at a high price to human and the environment under the WTO us Clean Air Act was found to be WTO illegal thus to say it's just a barrier to trade and the US has had to water down our clean air standards because it's a barrier to trade so what it's saying basically and that if trade is more important than any other value it's more important our health more important our barmen more important than our labor laws. That's undemocratic. We didn't vote in the WTO now and ready to repel to make their views heard. These activists are training to climb trees and scale buildings to hang banners. And make it really fast of give give people a really fun alternative to a boring drive. There are also preparing street performances to disrupt and distract and get their protest message heard. If you look at what the agenda of the WTO is is to take away
barriers to free trade into profit and those but you know what what are those barriers those barriers our environmental regulations those barriers are fair wages those barriers are human rights standards at a fundamental level. They want to maximize the profit of the corporations of multinational corporations and that is out of sync with taking care of people in the environment. Sollers and other and side activists say is that last chance this century to grab the international spotlight and raise questions about the benefits and costs of trade. Of course we'll be seeing a lot of the protesters all week long in fact outside of the exhibition center right now. Protesters are gathered they were going to have a ring around the exhibition center as a protest of the VCO a human chain as they call it. Expect tomorrow to be the big protest day of the week of course on his way in.
The governor of the state of Washington Gary Locke may have seen some of those processors He joins us now to talk a bit about the WTO and what is going to be happening over the next few days now I understand that you've been meeting with some of the other governors as well as talking to the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Right we also met this afternoon head of a large forum for the governors from the various states many of them agricultural states talking about the importance of opening markets for U.S. agricultural products and value added commodities. And also just expanding trade because we in the state of Washington are the most trade dependent state in America with virtually one out of every three jobs directly or indirectly tied and supported by international trade. That being the case Governor does it surprise you that there's so many protests against the WTO in Washington State is such a demand and it's such an active port city second biggest in the country. No not at all because I actually think that what many of the protesters are talking about are are legitimate issues that in fact the United States is trying to advance during this ministerial round of the
WTO because when we talk about a level playing field fair competition. We need to make sure that if United States companies are ahead hearing to very strong and high environmental standards are making sure that we don't use children in our labor force that it puts us. At a. Unfair competitive advantage of other countries are using the most toxic chemicals in the production of products or in manufacturing or using very dangerous pesticides to ensure a quality fruit. And yet our producers and our manufacturers are not allowed to do that. It makes puts us at a competitive disadvantage and I know that the administration is now going to be pushing for some increased standards with respect to on environmental issues and labor standards because that is. Part and parcel of a level playing field. You talked about the big sticking point being agriculture and being whether our exports the exam. It was exactly the Europe that was United States that kind of reception can lower the TAPS it's put on say Roquefort cheese from France.
Well that is really all part of it because you know we in the United States actually have much lower tariffs for the entry of foreign products or commodities coming into the United States. But the other countries like the European nations have huge tariffs that put our products at a competitive disadvantage. And in fact we heard from the deputy secretary of the United States the trade representative. That the European Union for instance has ten times the amount of government support or subsidies for their agricultural products which puts our products at a competitive disadvantage and we need to level the playing field. Governor let me quickly ask you you know before the WTO meeting started there was an agreement between the U.S. and China which may be beneficial to this state how do you see that. Why you know the the governors that were personally participating in today's form were Republican governors and Democratic governors. From all the way from Iowa to North Dakota I don't haul in the state of Washington and with representatives from Alaska and
other states and Montana everybody believes that a section of the entrance admission of China to the WTO is good for American workers because it means that China will have to open its borders and its markets to American products and that if they refuse to comply and agree to this international rule based kind of like the UN in terms of trade. Official sanctions can be imposed on China and that certainly gives the United States more leverage using prisoners and it will eventually be. Formally admitted to the US I think sell a perhaps next spring or next summer and that is really good for American companies and for consumers. Opening markets for our products and are given a lethal thank you very much for taking the time to hustle over here we saw you run over just to join us so we appreciate it very much. This is somebody Gary Locke thank you very much we'll be right back stay with us. Now.
Many of the protest groups say they want this week's demonstrations to be confrontational but not to be violent. Still law enforcement authorities have some serious concerns about the WTO meeting this week and the security here along with President Clinton and representatives from around the globe. A number of world leaders may attend although we're hearing out of Fidel Castro one that said who knows he just may show up. Yes he said he thought the State Department would deny him a visa but the State Department said they'd be perfectly willing to grant him one if he did come. Well add to all this thousands of activists converging on Seattle many dedicated to shutting down the conference and the possibility of conflict is very real. King Five's Linda Byron takes a look at the security around here. At this protest fire crews brought in ladder trucks not to force climbers down but to check their wagons for safety. And Seattle police waited patiently for protesters to come down on their own then arrested them for trespassing. But as the WTO
started police say they will draw a line. If a group actually seriously intends to shut down the venues and you know obviously we are going to be prepared to to stop that and we'll take whatever action is absolutely necessary. Seattle has a history of peaceful protests. The meetings here in 1903 stand in sharp contrast to what happened in Vancouver British Columbia two years ago. Police used pepper spray to control the crowds there. Even during the Gulf War protests in Seattle remained relatively incident free. Even as demonstrators took over the freeways and caused huge traffic snarls but police are warning such actions will not be tolerated during WTO blocking Interstate 5 has a tremendous impact not only the city but on the entire region so that is obviously something that we would we would have to take enforcement action to prevent. But handling the protesters is just a fraction of what police agencies have to worry
about. It's a daunting task to come up with a plan to keep thousands of delegates from some 160 countries safe along with President Clinton and other world leaders. When police still don't know exactly who's showing up the presence of just one controversial figure like Cuba's Fidel Castro can alter the entire security plan in a flash. To protect delegates during the WTO meetings. The convention center will be completely closed to the public. With streets blocked off for roughly a block in each direction. Further snarling downtown traffic. Police are considering using the Kingdom parking lot and the former Sand Point Naval Shipyard as massive holding cells if there was widespread trouble. And the courts have cancelled jury trials to make room for a thousand extra arraignments a day if necessary. So what you know what that means extra clerics next. You're going to balance security in a courtroom. Meantime health officials are bracing for potential biological terrorism
bringing in trained medical teams and drugs prepared to combat a possible outbreak of botulism and plague. We'd like to stress that we are not aware of any potential for that kind of attack but we're prepared. So. Preparations began two years ago for an emergency response. Should a state ferry become contaminated. The chemical attack on the Tokyo subway system the Oklahoma City bombing and the World Trade Center attack all stand as sober warnings that the worst can happen and authorities must take such possibilities seriously. We really don't think that there will be a terrorist incident here. However the FBI is wrong as to be ready to handle such an event if occurred. For law enforcement if the worst they face is traffic jams and mass protests that you know will be a piece of cake. Well we're all hoping that the WTO week will be a piece of cake at least particularly when it comes to
security and I'm sure those having to get in around traffic wise but you know you ran into some security issues this earlier today down at the state convention center. And well KING 5 News is broadcasting inside the convention center where the symposium is being held and a padlock had been broken so they locked the place down and kept everyone out. And that set the convention back a good two or three hours and it took a number of the reporters three to four hours to get into the convention center. They found out eventually that no one had tried to breach security that it was just an accident the padlock had been left open. I understand as many as five or six people have been arrested today but the reception protesters got was typically Seattle nice. The police were very easy going so far although dressed in riot gear driving Hummers and big buses ready to collect protesters who got out of hand it also goes to show you what you experienced earlier today the fact that you know security is a big issue here anytime you have world leaders along with people. Many other countries coming here along with protesters that those concerns have to be taken seriously. They do. I think Paul shell put it well this afternoon he said we want to be
known as an open city a Democratic city we want to hear what the protesters have to say. I mean it's vital to the strength of the WTO he said. But if they get out of line and he wagged his finger he says we will deal with them we are prepared. That's right. Coming up we'll look at how environmental concerns are playing a role in the debate over the WTO and international trade Stay with us we'll be right back. Here we go. With this now. Coughing in between here is Michael Moore the director general of the World Trade Organization he just walked in here and he's good enough to take some time to come and talk to us with more Welcome to Seattle. Thank you. Yeah. You've been here before you were here in October and of course during that time in October you heard a lot from those who have deep concerns about the WTO you even talk to the protesters
and you're seeing them again now. What do you tell them as far as the their perceptions of the World Trade Organization as this powerful bureaucracy. Well not all the critics are wrong. But I talk to them about how we are. In the business of trying to lift living standards. Look at the United States at the time your economy is pumping you have produced 20 million new jobs in the United States over 6 years on average those new jobs that are related to exports pay 25 percent. More. So it works. I also ask people to think of the vision. The WTO was created from the get. Get was created after the war. It was to sit alongside the United Nations will bank and the IMF. And why did our parents cry to the great men and women. Franklin Roosevelt Winston Churchill. Why did these
means of history. Do this. Because I believed that the Great Depression was made worse by protectionism and higher tears. And from that it came fascism and Maxes. And I swore this would never happen again. And so they set up these institutions and we are owned. By our governments. I get quite confused when people say we are undemocratic. This is a ministerial conference. There's a hundred and twenty ministers. They are elected by their parliament so by appointed by the president. Mr. Mayor let me give you the worst case scenario of the way things begin here that first of all the WTO begins without an agenda that in Geneva the specifics of the agenda were not able to be worked out so that's how this meeting starts. And then I understand from our trade advisors that President Clinton asked other national leaders Chirac Schroeder Blair to come here and that these world leaders refused or were not able on short notice to come and participate. What does this say
about the future of WTO. Well we we have not got a clean takes to ministers and I regret that. Several times I asked ministers to give their ambassadors more flexibility. The truth was that our ambassadors representing sovereign governments forced to a standstill we have positions now we need ministers to provide the political leadership. But having said that we have very close on a whole series of various. There are two major areas of difficulty. And if we can get agreement on those the rest of it. And then what are those issues below. I think no secret agriculture and implementation it is very difficult for some developing countries to implement what they have agreed to already take the assistance and then we need to talk. Of the coherence issues of the poor countries. I'll give you an example some of our members. It's a country in Africa. That is spending
up to nine times more. On its debt repayments than it is on a help. In the middle of an idea to make it where they can compete with a can produce food or take stalls or whatever they're not allowed to explore. This is wrong I have to see that China similar Let me ask you one specific that you Northwest is very interested in hearing. There are right now there's a ban in effect on tariffs in e-commerce a subject of great interest to the northwest. I understand that ban is going to continue at least 18 months can you predict that. Well we would hope so but there are some developing countries that don't want to see the ban on e-commerce. I continued I think they're wrong. I think it's in the interest of the wealthiest in the poorest country to have an open market in the electronic commerce for the poorest country on the planet. Opposing electronic commerce would be like another ice age opposing electricity to raw winds. But some say this is leverage. And that means anything.
We'll I believe will do just that very quickly because then the ban do you really think that you can get all of these things done in four days here. I do we've got some very good ministers here. They know the importance. Think of the cost of failure. Think of the jobs that will be lost. It's. Think of what will happen to the great companies of Seattle the business people have the jobs that are based on exports and they will say I think of our brothers and sisters in the poorer countries. They just want a chance to compete and I've always been a little Guys I have Mr. Moore I've heard it said around the convention center you're the only man who could pull this off. I think you're letting your fire down so we are really taking the time to hustlin here that's our choice I think here we're going to be talking about the environment in many of the concerns about the environment and international trade which Michael Moore will no doubt hear over the next four days while he's here in Seattle. Stay with us we'll be right back.
Is international trade bad for the environment. Well some environmentalists think so and they're here in Seattle to voice their concerns to WTO members. Well earlier this month President Clinton signed an executive order requiring environmental reviews of all major trade agreements. Is that a step in the right direction or is it too little too late. KING 5 Scott Miller looks at why environmentalists are so troubled about trade. In an effort to be eco friendly the city of Seattle may soon only buy wood products with this stamp of approval. The stamp means the wood came from a forest that passed an inspection like this one designed to make sure landowners do enough to protect streams and Wildlife Service International Service. But as these forest certification programs grow in popularity the people who do the inspections worry that the WTO could bring them to a halt. And there's some concern that under the current provisions of the WTO and future provision.
That this type of. Program can be declared a barrier to free trade. The same could apply to many of our environmental laws a warning to anti WTO activists. They tell us standards that protect our forests our air and the food we eat are all in danger from unrestricted free trade the World Trade Organization has one goal and that is to eliminate trade barriers. But unfortunately those are often environmental laws. This fierce battle between environmentalists and free trade advocates began over tuna fish many tuna fisherman outside the United States catch tuna in nets that are also deadly to dolphins. When the U.S. tried to ban on a dolphin killing nets Mexico claimed an unfair trade barrier and won. A similar thing happened when the U.S. tried to ban shrimp. Thought with fear that kills sea turtles on our own shores activists say free trade increases the likelihood that casts from imported what products will infest our forests. Tiny.
Wooden crates for example can carry the Asian longhorn beetle. When a new government rule required fumigation of these crates before they could enter ports like Seattle Hong Kong threatened action before the WTO. Still not all environmental advocates see free trade as a threat. A lot of the rhetoric that's being espoused by environmentalist is in fact misleading and wrong. Jay hare is the former head of the National Wildlife Federation. Poverty is the single greatest environmental problem the world faces today. Parable leaves trade promotes prosperity and encourages poor countries to become more environmentally conscious. The Clinton administration agrees on his most recent visit to Seattle Vice President Gore tried to reassure anti WTO activists by announcing that all future trade agreements will be subject to an environmental review. America can and should use its trade policy to strengthen environmental
protection both at home and abroad. Trade can be a powerful incentive for change. For example most tuna you see on the shelf today is now labeled dolphin safe in spite of Mexico's original trade complaint. Because that's what consumers want to buy and products from certified forests continue to grow more common again because customers want them. The question is whether governments like Seattle can go one step further and require eco friendly products without risking the wrath. Of the WCO. That was Scott Miller of KING 5 News. Joining us to talk more about the issues that pertain to the environment. Carl Pope was executive director of the Sierra Club and King Five's trade advisor Don banker former congressman from the state of Washington. Mr. Pope Let's start with you. What is it the Sierra Club is concerned about with regard to the issues of trade at WTO. Well we believe that the WTO which I like to call the wrong trade
organization should stick to trade and not get itself involved in trying to decide whether each aspect of environmental policy best. Suits the needs of multinational corporations. The problem we have with the WTO is that in addition to working on issues like tariffs which you know something about it tries to decide whether a clean air standards are necessary or not. Well it's not medically qualified to do that. It tries to decide whether standards to protect wildlife are necessary or not well it doesn't have trained zoologist. And in fact these decisions are made by the WTO in secret hearings by judges who are not qualified or not. Account of the American people are you concerned if the WTO didn't take up these this is the environment that they wouldn't be taken into account when we make trade decisions decisions would be made is that trade decisions environmental decisions would be made by the people of the United States. We believe that the American people or people in Britain or people in India are wise enough to set their own environmental standards and ought to have the right to enforce them without the WTO trying
to act like a super international Supreme Court on Makara people. And surprisingly you are a member of the Sierra Club and although you say you are somewhat of a critical member at times I take it you don't agree totally with what Carl I concur with the statements that were just made I don't think the WTO is really in a position to establish institutional structures to deal with environmental standards or attempting to enforce. Environmental decisions. I think the problem has arisen now. When the WTO is been forced to rule on situations involving American retaliatory action in the caisson of turtles or. Dolphins or reformulated gasoline. The WTO rulings which were against the United States were not based on environmental decisions but mostly on the method in which the U.S. retaliated by restricting or banning imported goods from that particular country. But let's be real here I mean trade is going to be a reality I mean we are dependent so much so in
the state for trade and our economy. How do we balance these. Well I don't think we need to balance it. There's lots of clean fuel Why not old. Well because there's lots of clean gasoline in the world. We can import the WTO doesn't have to tell us we have to import dirty gasoline from Venezuela we can import clean gasoline from Venezuela. There are lots of ships in the world that catch shrimp and environmentally sound fashion. We can have our shrimp from the Ocean ships. There are lots of nations which catch tuna without endangering dolphins. We can import that tuna fish. We can have from the world through trade. All of the good products but the WTO has set itself up to do is to force us to take bad products products we don't want to take and products that were produced in a way which damages the environment. I'd like to ask Congressman former Congressman bonkers the question because I know you've seen the talking points that President Clinton is about to make. What's the one assessment or the one kind of nugget you'd say is going to be the United States montra if you will at this conference.
What will the U.S. position be with regard to WTO. Well I think the president wants to address this issue. And I think we'll be making recommendations to the deputy you know based in part on all the protests and the forces that have gathered to promote environment within deputy Oh I think the comments I'm hearing here are quite enlightening. But I don't think they're representative of what we're hearing on the streets. So I think Bill Clinton in his usual habit will want to have it both ways. That is to endorse and support a new round Clinton round if you will of trade talks of trade talks and find a way of incorporating environmental. Standers either by setting up a working committee or attempting to establish standards which will be part of the WTO as operation in future in a very British Carl Pope is not enough for you not enough for you and we don't think even a station is going to go far enough because we believe the WTO is the
wrong Trade Organization. It needs reform before we should expand it not because it promotes trade but because it goes beyond the promotion of trade to promote bad environmental policy. Gentlemen thank you very much for taking time to talk to us. Varmints here and don't bother Congressman Don bonkers. Thanks very much. Well the issues about labor will also be coming up throughout this week in fact a major labor markets March will be taking place tomorrow through the streets of Seattle. We'll have more about that and much more stay with us. While thousands of union supporters will march through downtown Seattle tomorrow as labor makes its presence felt during the WTO meeting. So who are these workers you might be asking why are they so concerned about WTO and jobs. What do they want. Glenn Farley of King 5 has that story.
If you like your plan you pays a lot. Yes but the picket line outside the Kaiser Aluminum plant in the coal mine. The signs have been up here and in Spokane for 14 months. One of these days. We're coming back. Temporary replacement workers were brought in as what started out as a strike turned into a lockout. The United Steel Workers of America. And while the issues dividing the company and the union are complex the global trade in a little bit of is at the core. We've seen cheap imports of steel and aluminum from Russia Brazil. Other Come companies other countries like China have a real profound impact on our workforce. The steel workers want to prevent the WTO from undermining U.S. anti dumping laws laws that go after countries that sell their product into the United States. Below the actual cost of making us not saying we shouldn't trade but I think there's got to be a right way and don't want it. The American aluminum industry is in flux for its part Kaiser says it's trying to save its
U.S. plants by making its operations and its workforce more competitive. To do that Kaiser wants to eliminate hundreds of jobs in Washington state but actually boost wages for those workers who remain. Nearly every union has its own issue with the WTO. But the machinists union at Boeing the issue is something called offsets and offset is where a country like China dictates that Boeing have airplane parts built in Chinese factories in exchange for a large aircraft order. And one of the things is we can't tie the hands of the Boeing Company I'm unable to sell airplanes but it's not going to do us any good as a union. You know every country that they go into they give an offset. And basically you know there are going to be building airplanes around the world to not be building here in the Puget Sound area. You know a lot of people try to characterize us as we're against trade. Why would I be against trade. I live in the Pacific Northwest. Almost 40 percent of the people I represent they get weekly pay checks. Because their jobs are directly related to trade.
Ron Judd is executive director of the King County Labor Council of the AFL CIO says that the booming U.S. economy has masked an underlying problem that more than a half million American manufacturing jobs have disappeared since 1997 disappeared they say because businesses that who've worked in Mexico can take advantage of wages so low they won't lift people out of poverty because lax environmental laws in countries like China make it profitable for U.S. companies to move plants there. We're saying that everybody ought to be playing off the same rulebook. And if companies in this country want to do the right thing then they ought to be competing with country with companies in other countries that are doing the right thing. Organizers say they'll be bringing in union members from around North America and labor leaders from around the world. They'll be protesting among other things the use of child labor in Southeast Asia and the murder of union organizers in Latin America. They say they'll be allowed enough to be heard but will they be listened to by the delegates and.
The steelworkers say they'll be well represented. We are trying to mobilize Pierce County to other. Union members and labor people from Pierce County. To. Go to Seattle on 30th November. This is a fight that that. Or that we can have you know our pet on our soil. I think hopefully he said and apply a change that will put place. With us now to talk about balancing trade and labor interests are two people deeply involved in this issue Diane Sullivan is the director of trade policy for the National Association of Manufacturers and also with us is the lead international economist for the AFL CIO which is organizing tomorrow's labor or labor march which I imagine you've been very busy working on some of that. What is it that you really hope to get across with that march tomorrow. Well. We want the WTO to change both the way it does business want to be more open democratic accountable sensible to labor unions and other civil society
organizations we want to change its rules we want forcible workers rights. At the World Trade Organization. And what we hope to demonstrate with the march is first of all that there are a lot of us there's going to be tens of thousands of people out in the street that we cross the Internet. Boundaries we're going to have workers from all over the world with us tomorrow from South Africa Brazil Malaysia Kenya fast so workers who are united in their demand that the world the World Trade Organization. Right. Trade is the message that we value trade but we want trade I guess on certain levels. I think that the Internet the labor movement is one of the most international and globalized movements that there is we value trade we value globalization. We want to different set of rules for trade. We want workers rights protected with the same vigor and enforcement measures that business concerns are protected today. Let's take that issue to Diane Sullivan of The National Association of Manufacturers fair to say some of the protests we've seen already hanging a banner off the Old Navy store burning overalls at the Gap. These are directed at you and your organization and the
manufacturers. What's your reaction to these protests. Well Jeanne we think it's important that people have an opportunity to speak their mind and certainly there are instances where some effects of trade have hurt some workers who have needed to change and shift into other jobs. But I think the most important point here that we believe is that the World Trade Organization is about jobs. For example the manufacturers that I represent represent 18 million people in America who make things. And over the past 60 years we've had a and credible increase in jobs and new and better types of jobs new quality jobs better paying better benefits. So we think that trade is really about the people and about the workers to Thalia I'd like to direct that question because I wonder what the United States says we're for trade we're helping for helping the third world develop jobs does that really say to you though we're exporting American jobs overseas. Well we are exporting American jobs overseas and we have we have seen an erosion of good paying manufacturing jobs but that isn't really the point the point is that the current system of globalization isn't
delivering good results for for everybody across the board not for our developing country partners and not for American workers. We've seen a decline in the stagnation of wages for the majority of American workers over the last 20 years or so. And we see growing inequality both within and between countries in developing countries we've seen terrible growth in inequality a lot of environmental problems and the current trade rules are exacerbating not solving those problems. I'd have to say I don't believe that we're exporting jobs at this point to trade I think what we're doing is importing better jobs in some ways it's quite fascinating. But I think that the point here is that as we move forward with international trade we set examples in other countries job standards increase in other countries benefits pay get better and in the meantime our workers here get better opportunities and more opportunities for jobs. I think the people of the northwest particularly in Seattle want to know from you mislay your aim tomorrow is to shut down the city to dramatize your interest to bring attention to labor all of the above. What is it tomorrow I mean tomorrow is to make a really strong impression both on the trade ministers
on the American public and on our own government that our issues are are strong they need to be addressed by the World Trade Organization we're not going away. We're united with environmentalist farmers religious leaders students. Across the board there's a lot of people have a lot of concerns about the way the World Trade Organization has implemented the rules of the global trading system. And we want those those concerns addressed we want to address this week. How many people do you expect tomorrow. We expect tens of thousands of people to be out in the street it's should be a really strong turnout a really great turnout of all different kinds of people across sectors and across the country. Our advice since we are bring your rain gear. All right a lot of rain ponchos out there. All right thank you very much for joining us. Dan Sullivan National Association manufacturers thank you very much for joining us. Thank you very much. Well coming up next China and its pending entry into the WTO. Stay with us.
For the past 13 years China has been trying to gain entry into the World Trade Organization. Well the stage is now set for this to happen. Two weeks ago the U.S. and China signed an historic trade agreement that provides even greater access to Chinese markets. So what does this mean for China the U.S. and Washington state. Here to give us some insight is Joe Burridge executive director of the Washington State China Relations Council. So when you heard the news that this of finally been reached the agreement between the U.S. and China which really almost looked like it wasn't going to happen. Well what were your thoughts especially when it comes to trade and China and the state of Washington. Well I was I was extremely pleased. Like you I had some doubts about whether an agreement could be reached this year or not. And it was a bit of a surprise and it seemed to come together very quickly when the trade delegation headed by Charlene Barshefsky and Gene Sperling went to Beijing a little over two weeks ago. Do you expect that this will result in China being formally admitted to the WTO.
I do expect that to happen. As you noted the negotiations between the United States and China actually which preceded the forming of the WTO. Been dragging on now for 13 years and I think probably held up the completion of China's other bilateral negotiations the main one of which is now still remaining as with the EU. Do you expect this to mean for our stay in Seattle landless. Well I think it's it has to may have a tremendous impact on the state and on the United States in general as you noted this is an agreement to open China's market the United States not the U.S. market to China and many of the barriers and restrictions that have kept us business with China. At a fairly low level lower than it it certainly could be. Will will will be removed over the next week from the point China accedes to through the through through a five year period. This supports the you know the Washington state's position is unique in the United States because we benefit whether we're exporting or importing our jobs revolve around trade of any sort.
But one of the U.S. trade advisors told me privately today off the record a real concern that America has or should have is that China because it has an expensive manufacturing capabilities will flood the U.S. market with Chinese goods. Well one of the one of the one part of the agreement that China conceded to the U.S. was an extension to I think two thousand and nine. On the current textile quota system and an even longer extension to 15 years from the date of accession on anti-dumping provisions and similar. Provisions that the United States currently employs against China to do precisely that to avoid a sudden flood of cheap imports the United States that might overwhelm so you've already dismissed fears about that. I would I think that you know we're talking about a total period of 15 years into the future where the U.S. market will continue to be protected in some cases almost in violation of WTO rules
from the from sudden surges in Chinese exports to the U.S. storage. Appreciate you taking the time to talk to us so I'm glad I will see what happens with China in the WTO to me within the next month I guess there's some talk of that possibly could happen to them becoming a member that quickly. I would certainly expect the accession process to be completed in the first half of next year. All right as a March thanks very much. Thank you very much. Coming up the controversy over genetically altered food. Frankenfood as some call it and how that is affecting world trade. In spite of all these protests we've seen today on the streets of Seattle the United States government is a big supporter of WTO and free trade. That's because we're trying to get other countries to open their markets to U.S. products. But as Scott Miller tells us other countries claim some of those products are unhealthy for people
and bad for the planet. Europe is half a world away from George and Pattie or one small western Washington cattle farm. Still the Erwin's are angry about European trade policy. Europe bans most Americans because cattle here usually get hormone implants at the feedlot. To fatten them up before slaughter. Europeans blame the hormones are dangerous but farmers like the ones aren't buying. This is a straw man they've set up to inhibit trade. It's really not the issue. The issue is free trade. American biotechnology companies have the same complaint scientists like Washington state universities are tinkering with genes of popular food. This world is going to have another billion people you know by. In 20 years. And these people have to be fed Ryan's tomato which actually makes insects that eat it. Isn't on the market yet.
But the crops you can buy are getting a harsh reaction in Europe. This video shows activists in Great Britain destroying a plot of genetically altered corn. They claim these crops pose risks for other plants and possibly even people. Now some varieties of this horn are allowed into Europe at all. Once again American farmers are crying foul. If there was a demonstrated risk yes countries should be allowed to ban them but there is no demonstration for us. It's not just American farm products that Europeans see as a hazard. Europe may also crack down on American computers specifically old computers which contain lead and small amounts of other toxic metals. Now European nations are drafting new rules to deal with discarded electronic equipment rules that would require manufacturers to assume responsibility for this growing mountain of computer waste.
Computers can be recycled. This store in talk will it does it. But making this mandatory would increase the cost of computers. Manufacturers say the rules would also be a violation of free trade. As currently drafted. There are some analyses which suggest that this would lead to an unfair trade barrier which would be against the current obligations under the World Trade Organization. So far the U.S. hasn't asked the WTO to rule on computers or corn or genetically engineered crops will be a hot topic at the meetings in Seattle this week. But on that subject there are plenty of Americans like North Bend organic farmer Andrew Stout who believes the Europeans are right. We're concerned that we're making people do something that they're not interested in. The U.S. did go to the WTO about the European ban on American beef and one WTO authorized a retaliatory terrified European
products like French cheese. But Europeans still aren't buying BS from American farmers like Erwin's. They are ignoring the WTO and living by their own rules. That was Scott Miller of KING 5 News that's right and genetically altered foods and products that if you are going to be really at the top of the list this week when talking about agriculture and other issues of the WTO will have to do with particular in the state. I think that's one of the really unresolvable issues certainly in this week it's the United States and Europe the two big powers in WTO not being able to reach any resolution about our exports of our imports of French products like Roquefort cheese or very strong disagreements there. Now one of the issues that they think might come to some resolution this week is e-commerce there's been a ban on tariffs that e-commerce is. Like trains and planes were in the past it's key to our economy key to the global economy and there are predictions that the ban on tariffs on e-commerce will be extended. We'll be
right back with a look at e-commerce in the WTO. With Microsoft in our backyard our front yard as well. Many Internet start ups in our state keeping cyber space duty free is a very high priority. It benefits our region that electronic commerce will be on the agenda this week. E-commerce is growing dramatically and the US government wants to keep it that way. But what if it changes and transactions are taxed. Robert Mack Swain's How could affect the way people shop around the world. When you hear about trade most of us picture ships we VCR and big international sales. But the picture of world trade is starting to change because of something called e-commerce. It can make the smallest company anywhere in the world a worldwide player.
So how might the WTO affect e-commerce. Consider the way you shop whether you might buy off a web page depends in part on price and that's the issue. Many American companies get a lot of business from foreign customers and the United States is worried that international web sales could really suffer if other countries impose tariffs and drive up internet prices. We are coming here to Seattle to try to lower trade barriers. Let's not build new ones. If you don't come out of this at the outset and establish the parameters free and open trade for e-commerce and countries will inevitably erect restrictions because everybody wants to protect their own industries in the U.S. you might pay state sales tax on some purchases. But the federal government so far is not taxing things you buy over the web. And WTO countries also agreed a couple years ago to put a moratorium on Internet tariffs but that moratorium runs out at the end of the month here in Seattle. So we need to extend that moratorium. We would prefer to make it permanent.
The U.S. is far ahead when it comes to e-commerce. But it won't be long before more people in all different countries are buying and selling things across international borders and the WTO is fully aware that what action it takes or doesn't take in Seattle could drastically affect the picture of world trade. I'm Robert Mack. Among the U.S. companies pushing for a permanent ban on Tariffs and e-commerce transactions. Obviously Microsoft and America Online for it went as a surprise many are not surprised at all. All right we have a bit more to go. So please stay with us. Well we know that this week trade will be talked about in every way shape and
form I mean let's face it in a state like Seattle in the state of Washington in state with state of Washington and city like Seattle where we are so dependent on trade it just seems like we are the perfect venue for this conversation. And you know that this conversation is going to have ramifications later on as far as our economy in the world economy as well. We've we've said several times tonight that Washington State's position with regard to trade is unique in the country. We're trade dependent more than any other state and we benefit whether we're importing or exporting. Now there were very few protests in favor of trade today but. There were some. And the important thing is to think about what would life be without a train ride it would. Well without trade I think we would be trying to find some things in our economy to make things work better it would be very difficult. I think the toughest thing if we did not have trade will be the coffee issue since we depend a coffee so much on being able to mix with you know import coffee have coffee and a lot of cranky people here in the state of Washington. Well we appreciate very
- World Trade: The Seattle Summit
- Producing Organization
- KCTS (Television station : Seattle, Wash.)
- AAPB ID
- Program Description
- This live broadcast from the opening reception of the World Trade Organizations Seattle Summit looks at the major issues and controversies to be discussed at the Summit as well as some of the controversy surrounding the WTO itself.
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
- Consumer Affairs and Advocacy
- Politics and Government
- Global Affairs
- Consumer Affairs and Advocacy
- Politics and Government
- Global Affairs
- Copyright 1999 KCTS Television. All rights reserved.
- Media type
Host: Cerna, Enrique
Host: Enersen, Jean
Producing Organization: KCTS (Television station : Seattle, Wash.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
- Chicago: “World Trade: The Seattle Summit,” 1999-11-29, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 3, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-283-881jx3z5.
- MLA: “World Trade: The Seattle Summit.” 1999-11-29. American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 3, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-283-881jx3z5>.
- APA: World Trade: The Seattle Summit. Boston, MA: American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-283-881jx3z5