AFTINET supports efforts to ensure trade rules do not stop governments from regulating to prevent financial crises

AFTINET supports efforts to ensure trade rules do not stop governments from regulating to prevent financial crises.

In the wake of the global financial crisis, most governments have agreed that stronger financial regulation, both domestic and international, is needed to prevent financial crises. Recommendations have been made by the G20 group of governments, by a UN study authored by Nobel–Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, and even recently by the International Monetary Fund.

Developing countries in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are concerned that the rules of the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and related WTO financial services rules, which still promote financial deregulation, could pose obstacles to efforts to strengthen both domestic and international financial regulation. However, proposals for discussion of these issues have so far been blocked by United States, the European Union and Canada.

Ecuador has proposed that this issue be discussed at the upcoming WTO meeting at the end of October 2012. AFTINET has signed a letter from civil society groups in many countries supporting Ecuador's proposal, and has also written a letter to the Australian Trade Minister to ask him to support such a discussion.

Read the full letter here