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December 1, 1999 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (contacts mailto:wto@rtmark.com, mailto:jean-guy.carrier@wto.org, mailto:enquiries@wto.org)

WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION DECLARES HATRED FOR RTMARK6

The World Trade Organization, the principal organization in charge of enforcing the rules of global commerce, has issued a press release stating that it is "deeply concerned" about RTMark's "illegal and unfair" website, http://gatt.org/.

In the release (http://www.wto.org/wto/new/press151.htm), WTO Director-General Mike Moore accuses RTMark of attempting to "undermine WTO transparency" by copying the WTO website's design and using "domain names such as 'www.gatt.org' and page titles such as 'World Trade Organization / GATT Home Page' which make it difficult for visitors to realize that these are fake pages."

RTMark spokesperson Ray Thomas says that, on the contrary, http://gatt.org/ is much clearer than http://www.wto.org/. "Following any of the Gatt.org links--or reading any of the text-- will make clear our interpretation of what the WTO is about, and that RTMark is behind the site. Mike Moore must have a very low opinion of people to think they won't figure it out." It is the WTO, according to Thomas, that is misleading. "They claim to be 'transparent' because their site includes thousands of official documents and the minutes of many meetings, but who could possibly have the patience to read any of that, besides corporate planners? All anyone actually sees is their bold declarations that they're 'delivering better living standards for everyone,' or somewhat bizarre assurances that 'The WTO is not a world government and no one has any intention of making it one'... but the site doesn't even mention the violent riots in Seattle, London, etc., nor the reasons they're happening." [Links to news about the violence and some of its reasons can be found at http://gatt.org/.]

Thomas said that while the WTO admits on its front page the obvious truth that free trade has resulted in environmental catastrophe-- "The growing world economy has been accompanied by environmental degradation, including deforestation, losses in bio-diversity, global warming, air pollution, depletion of the ozone layer, overfishing and so on"--this openness is illusory. "WTO.org says that the WTO response to environmental catastrophe is to do 'new studies,'" said Thomas. "But as you can read at Gatt.org, what Moore says in the press is that freer trade will lead to higher living standards, which will in turn make for a cleaner environment. It's incredibly bad logic at every step, and it's what has created this disaster in the first place." Explaining this sort of trickery is Gatt.org's reason for being, said Thomas. "We're just making the WTO a little bit more transparent--for example, to help explain why the WTO prevents democratic governments from imposing sanctions based on human rights abuses, or from including economics in their foreign policy at all."

RTMark found out about the WTO release, dated November 23, from Jean- Guy Carrier, the WTO's Manager of Information Technologies for Development. In an e-mail dated November 24, Carrier writes: "Greetings, to be accurate you should update your WTO clone site to include the text of the news release deploring efforts such as your to confuse the public. Any honest group with information and sincere views to convey usually does so without having recourse to subterfuge and deception. Others such as yourselves consider they are above all that. Too bad." In another, to a news service advertised on the Gatt.org site, Carrier encourages the service to withdraw its sponsorship; in another one week later, he accuses RTMark of having "little regard for any law." (Carrier can be reached at mailto:jean-guy.carrier@wto.org.)

Director-General Moore shows a similar tone in the release: "It's ironic that while the WTO is accused of lacking transparency, some critics who put out misleading or false information are camouflaging their identities." Thomas says that by accusing RTMark of not playing by the rules, Moore and Carrier seem to be implying that the WTO and RTMark are equal opponents in the same game. "We're supremely flattered that the WTO is acting as if RTMark were its equal," said Thomas, "but it's ironic that they're so upset. Despite the neo-liberal myth of equal opportunity for all, the WTO is not enjoying this little dialogue. They'd rather just shut us up."

http://gatt.org/ is not the first time that RTMark (http://rtmark.com) has used website imitation to render an entity more transparent. RTMark has performed the same service for George W. Bush (with GWBush.com, archived at http://rtmark.com/bush.html), Rudy Giuliani (http://yesrudy.com/), Shell Oil (http://rtmark.com/shell/), and others.

RTMark's principal aim is to publicize corporate abuses of democratic processes.


------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 22:15:10 -0500

From: World Trade Organization

Subject: new WTO home page

The World Trade Organization is proud to announce its new official home page, inaugurated just twelve days before the "Millennium Round" negotiations begin in Seattle.

RTMark agreed to donate their own URL, http://rtmark.com/, to house the new WTO site for the next few weeks. All of the usual RTMark content is present in the new site, though in a somewhat different order than usual.

RTMark has donated websites to the George W. Bush presidential campaign (formerly GWBush.com, now archived at http://rtmark.com/bush.html) and, most recently, to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (http://yesrudy.com/).

With this newest donation, as with the earlier ones, RTMark hopes to help the beneficiary clarify its efforts and aims, previously presented in a muddy and misleading fashion (at http://www.wto.org/).

WTO Director Mike Moore expressed his enthusiasm for the clarified site: "I just hope they are as reasonable as we try to be and that we engage in an intellectual, democratic way without any media terrorism." (Washington Post, 2 November 1999)

Charlene Barshefsky, U.S. Trade Representative to the WTO, chimed in with an expression of hope: "The single greatest threat to the multilateral trade system is the absence of public support." (Financial Times, 11 October 1999)

Happy Millennium Round! RTMark