From The Daily Kos.
Fast Track to Hell on Earth: Iraq and the WTO
Fri Jan 05, 2007 at 03:02:47 AM PST
Call me Ishmael. Inspired by a fellow Montanan’s recent diary, “It’s the Contractors, Stupid- A Plan to Get Out of Iraq,” I went rooting for truffles on the internet today and discovered that Iraq is nearing a critical point for a process many of us and almost all ordinary Iraqis know almost nothing about: The Bearing Point plan for Iraq is predicated on WTO membership. Despite Iraq’s not meeting the basic requirements for WTO membership, the application has been fast-tracked since Paul Bremer first put his boots on Saddam’s old desk. Although Iran has applied for and been denied observer status 15 times, Iraq, occupied and already in the throes of civil war, was granted observer status right on Bremer’s schedule, in February of 2004 and is now in the final stage of securing full WTO membership.
Is the WTO accession process is part of a duplicitous, Machiavellian plan by the occupying powers and their globalist corporate backers? Can it be stopped before the Iraqis surrender economic sovereignty in perpetuity? Find out more and what you can do after the jump.
Iraqanomics 101: The WTO Commuter Lane
How to become a member of the WTO: Article XII of the WTO Agreement states that accession to the WTO will be “on terms to be agreed” between the acceding government and the WTO. Accession to the WTO is essentially a process of negotiation — quite different from the process of accession to other international entities, like the IMF, which is largely an automatic process..
Who can apply: *”Any state or customs territory having full autonomy in the conduct of its trade policies is eligible to accede to the WTO on terms agreed between it and WTO Members”*. (Article XII of the WTO Agreement).
After Paul Bremer removed nationalist opposition to the globalization of Iraq and effectively launched the Iraq civil war with CPA orders 1 and 2, he methodically implemented a series of CPA orders which were designed, probably by Bearing Point, to strip Iraq of the power to ever control its own economy and resources. These CPA orders granted foreign corporations immunity from lawsuits, reduced corporate taxes from 40 to a flat 15 percent, “made it illegal for Iraqi farmers to plant saved seeds,” and provided that where Iraq law conflicted with international agreements that the “more favorable terms” would apply. CPA Order 12, amended by Order 54, removed all tariffs with the exception of a 5% reconstruction levy on imported goods, clearing the way for unrestricted access to Iraq’s energy resources by foreign energy companies (hey, we didn’t invade for the dates). CPA Order 12, aka “Trade Liberalization Policy” also set a deadline for Iraq’s membership in the WTO.
Read all of it here.