For Immediate Release
July 28, 2003

Contact: Stephenie Hendricks,, 415-258-9151

Montreal ”Mini-Meeting” of WTO Ministers
Meanwhile, Others Prepare for Cancun/Fair Trade Solutions to WTO Dilemmas

San Francisco - Representatives from twenty-five unidentified countries will meet in Montreal this week for the final so-called ‘mini-ministerial’ talks before a gathering of almost 150 Word Trade Organization ministers in Cancun, Mexico in September, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The World Trade Organization will negotiate in a smaller group as it tries to resolve a deadlock on rich countries' farm-aid programs and other issues. Such discussions are taking on growing importance in an attempt to increase the pace of negotiations at the WTO, whose 146 member nations can each veto any accord, the Journal reported. Critics say these meetings, closed to the public, go against the spirit of multilateral trade talks, the paper said.

The Institute for Agricultural Trade Policy (IATP) is producing the first ever Fair Trade Symposium and Fair for the WTO ministers and their staffs in Cancun to offer solid solutions to the current WTO policies that are causing turmoil within the WTO itself, and also giving cause for widespread global protest against the WTO.

"The Fair Trade movement has flourished largely because the WTO-driven, free trade model has failed to respond to the needs of poor countries," said IATP President Mark Ritchie.

  • Kari Hamerschlag, Senior Associate, Fair Trade Specialist, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, 510-524-8810 (office), 510-207-7257 (cell),

  • Fair Trade Symposium and Fair Trade Fair -

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