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Oxfam hands fair trade permission to WTO

Oxfam hands fair trade permission to WTO
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The six-day World Trade Organisation Conference begins on Tuesday with little chance of a major breakthrough. As estimated 9,000 police are on standby to ensure security at the summit in Hong Kong. There should be progress on giving the poorest countries clearer access to rich markets. But the EU, represented by Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, is still being pressured by farm goods exporters like the US and Brazil to do more to cut import tariffs.

Oxfam is in Hong Kong to lobby for fair trade. The charity and campaign group presented a petition signed by 17.8 million people calling for new rules that would help developing countries out of poverty. Oxfam is one of many groups which argue the global trading system is rigged in favour of the rich. WTO head Pascal Lamy said he agreed with some of what they said.