Recall Ambassador Teehankee, Time for a Democratic Multilateral Trade System

The Alliance of Progressive Labor today demanded the recall of the country’s Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization Mr. Manuel A.J. Teehankee for his utter failure to protect the trade interests of the country and for abandoning the Global South’s development agenda.

By recklessly adhering to the NAMA and agriculture texts during the WTO Mini-Ministerial, Ambassador Teehankee not only wrecked whatever credibly the country has gained in its alliance work, he also endangered the jobs and livelihoods of millions of Filipinos who will be negatively impacted by the country’s inability to protect large sections of its economy.

Ambassador Teehankee should immediately be recalled.

Fortunately for the working people, the trade talks once again collapsed as rich countries failed to seriously take into consideration the developmental needs of the developing countries.

The APL vowed to push Congress to investigate the work of the Permanent Mission to the WTO in Geneva.

The APL also warned government that the Doha failure should not lead to more bilateral negotiations. After all, bilateral treaties are sometimes even more extreme than the WTO as we have seen in the case of the Japan Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

Instead, the focus should be on how the world can develop a more democratic multilateral trade system where our country can take advantage of the benefits of trade for growth and development, while ensuring that international agreements addressing serious issues of agriculture, energy, climate, human rights, and labor rights are more important than just increasing exports and imports.

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