The Players

| November / December 2005

Several blocs of countries have formed in the negotiations leading up to the World Trade Organization meeting in Hong Kong. Hundreds of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) will be there too, both inside, lobbying the delegates, and outside, demonstrating in the streets.

Negotiating Blocs

The United States and the European Union -- The most powerful alliance in the WTO, generally seen as the bad guys because of their insistence on pushing a corporate-driven free trade agenda.

G20 -- A powerful negotiating bloc that emerged in Canc?n and was instrumental in halting the talks there. Led by Brazil, South Africa, India, and China -- and representing over half the world's population -- the G20 is focusing now on opening up rich countries' markets to food imports.

G33 -- A group of poor, food-importing countries concerned primarily with food security; many members overlap with G20.

G10 -- A group of 10 countries, led by Norway, concerned with protecting their 'food sovereignty' (the right to support domestic producers for domestic markets).

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