An Open Letter to Ambassador Barshefsky

by Glynn Ash

Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky
United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street, N.W.
Washington,DC 20508
FAX: 202-395-4549

Dear Ms. Barshefsky,

I am writing to you today to express my strong opposition to any effort to expand the powers of the World Trade Organization (WTO) through a new round of trade liberalization. Instead, the WTO, world governments and representative's of the world's NGO activists should immediately cease and desist from any further erosions of human rights and environmental protections and sit down and review and correct the deficiencies of the system and the WTO regime itself.

When it was created, the WTO was hailed as a means of enhancing the prosperity and promoting the well-being of all people in all member states.

I offer as evidence the decline of human dignity, the gutting of environmental protections and a concentration of massive wealth and power over millions of world citizens in the hands of a few privileged elites that this has failed to materialize.

In the past five years the WTO has contributed to the concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich at the expense of millions, culminating not only in untold human suffering but the deaths of millions.

We have seen increased poverty for the majority of the world's population, and unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.

We have seen social safety nets of entire countries -- uncluding the U.S.'s, ravaged by IMF and World Bank decrees.

We have seen real wages decrease and poverty increase right here in "The Richest Nation On Earth".

The United States and other governments which dominate the WTO and the transnational corporations which have benefited from the WTO system have refused to recognize and address these problems. Instead, they are pushing for further liberalization through the introduction of new issues for adoption in the WTO. This will lead to the exacerbation of the crisis associated with the process of globalisation.

There should be a moratorium on any new issues or further negotiations that expand the scope and power of the WTO and a review of past decisions. This will provide an opportunity for society to change course and develop an alternative, humane and sustainable international system of trade and investment relations.

Anything less will not only exasperate continued human suffering but will, I submit, hasten the down-fall and collapse of the very source of riches which is currently worshipped at the alter of your own greed.

If you can not bring yourselves to think of OUR grandchildren, then I implore you to think of your own, as THEY will pay the price latter for the decisions you adopt now.

They will inherit a world ravaged of it's beauty, it's natural resources and filled with an angry and betrayed populace who were left behind at the station of YOUR gravy-train of prosperity.

The masses will be lied to, deceived and lulled to complacentcy for only so long.

In your race for immediate gratification and riches, is this the world you want left to your childrens' children?

I urge you to remember that millions of people are awakening from their fog and to reflect upon what you are doing not only to us...

...But to yourselves.

These policies MAY be sustainable through YOUR lifetimes, ensuring an extravagant existence for the remainder of YOUR days, but they can't be sustained forever...

And THEN where will you -- or your grandchildren be?

Will your riches REALLY shelter them from the consequences of your decisions?

The masses will be angry and may even demand retribution. Not a desirable outcome, but possible none the less.

Food for thought?

We must all work together to ensure a future for all and to guarantee that this bleak outlook never comes to pass.

WE, the people -- and OUR earth, MUST be included!

There is plenty to go around. When one small segment of the population controls all, or most, of the worlds wealth, one must ask themselves, "When is enough money enough?"


Glynn Ash
One citizen of your world.