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"Your site is the best one that I have found. It is well written, global and has information that I would never be able to find as one person on the internet. Thankyou for the work that you are doing." [July 2001]

Bob Katz, San Diego WTO Alert

"I have been receiving your mail for a while now and I think that it is the best and most professional news items that I receive and I cannot fathom how you do it on a daily basis..." [August 2001]

Bob Katz, San Diego WTO Alert

"I appreciate all the wonderful material that you are sending me. I think that you are doing a wonderful job and the material is written in such a professional manner. I hope that you can continue to send it out all over the world and keep informing everyone on world trade." [October 2001]

Professor Herbert Shore, San Diego State University

"It is unfortunate that the quality of your otherwise excellent WTO Impact List must be diminished by shoddy introductions such as the one included in today's mailing (see below). Why detract from the objectivity of the reporting service you provide? In your haste to add "spice" to your daily selection of articles, you contribute to what Susan Aaronson so adroitly identifies in her article (included in your Impact List of last Friday: the demagogy of the NGOs." [November 2001]

[text of reference]

"It looked like it was not going to happen. Almost two months after the 911 Attacks, the battle lines have been drawn at Qatar. The usual suspects -- free trade, market liberalisation, privatisation, and market-based pricing -- will be invoked. Who will be the quintessential bogeyman at Doha -- free trade or liberalisation? They say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

With smooth-talking Eurocrats and their formidable trade team that would send shivers down the spine of even Caesar's army, I very much fear he is already at Qatar."

Patricio Grané, Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy LLP, Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Mr.Grane,

The Collins English Dictionary defines a demagogue as: "a political agitator who appeals to the prejudice and passions of the mob". Though I fully agree with you that in my haste to add "spice", I went a bit overboard, I think it is wholly unfair, and indeed prejudicial, on your part to qualify what I wrote as demagogy. True, we don't always get it right -- perhaps, it comes out of being human -- but the introductions are usually deliberately opinionated not because it's the easier option to pursue, but because the very essence of the WTO Impact List is predicated on one principal thing: the need to disseminate information (as we try to do as well as possible) about the "adverse effects of international trade". We find much more affinity with those who say trade is increasingly becoming a zero sum game than those who say it is a win-win one.

Finally, as an NGO worker, you're perhaps right to infer that I am appealing to the prejudice and passions of the mob. With respect to the WTOIL, who is "the mob" but those who subscribe to the list. We know that EU and UNCTAD people are reading this, but so are many individuals and activists who both agree and disagree with what we say. Finally, we are in no way political, hence the term non-governmental organisation.

That said, I think I will just agree to disagree, but yes, your point is very much noted. We look forward to more *constructive* criticisms in future.

Emmanuel, ICDA Intern

I only wish I had time to subscribe to and read some of your other lists as well.

"It is valued and is valuable. I don't know who all reads it but I've been subscribing since June, and am fairly well informed about the issues and find your (almost) daily postings very helpful in finding and knowing very specifically just how the South sees the issues and in cutting through the media's sometimes simplistic claptrap." [November 2001]

Bob Thomson, Ottawa, Canada

dear emmanuel,

as the trade adviser to the Socialist Group in the european parliament, I share many of the concerns of icda regarding the environmental, development and human rights impact of current trade rules; but unlike the commentaries on doha carried so far by the impact list, I am convinced that doha was a very positive step, from the development and environmental perspective at least (not so good on democracy, transparency or human rights issues); if icda is genuinely concerned with these issues, then presumably you are prepared to judge doha on the facts, and at least entertain the possibility that the doha declarations are to be welcomed; I attach my analysis for the socialist group, which you are welcome to use in impact list (...)

I hope you'll be prepared to open up the impact list to a wider range of views on qatar [November 2001]

derek reed, Trade Adviser to Socialist Group of EP, Brussels

Dear Mr.Reed,

(...) we have taken your comments on board, and assure you that ICDA *truly* is concerned about both the development and environmental aspect of the trading system, but it does often appear that the environment is an issue that is highly subjective depending on who you're speaking for. For developing countries, unlike the EU that places environmental concerns at its heart, the environment is often subordinated by other more pressing concerns, such as agriculture, food security, and the like. That's not to say your concerns are not taken on board, but it is to emphasize that given the nature of ICDA, it would be unfair to merely highlight the positive aspects -- good though they may be for especially the developed world -- that reflect the EU position. Otherwise, in my opinion, we all run the risk of becoming complacent that fundamental problems area{sic} resolved, when we know in our heart of hearts that to an extent they are not. Hence, yesterday's articles that we used from India was to highlight the fact that though India as a relatively powerful DC was able to show its clout, it still has concerns.

Finally, I very much agree with you that perhaps the commentaries have been too skewed to the negative effects of Doha, and it is necessary in the interests of balance to maintain just that -- objectivity. So, we will read your analysis with a very open mind, and also assure you, finally, that we are all very open-minded, despite the articles in our WTOILs, and perhaps even our own personal remarks, which, in the final analysis, though sometimes geared to generate debate in the list (sadly, often absent) are *personal*.

Emmanuel, ICDA Intern

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