Trade mission: giving voice to the poor
When trade officials from 150 countries gathered last December in Hong Kong for the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, economics professor Tom Head went to help give the world’s poor a voice in the negotiations.
Wealthier nations such as the United States brought hundreds of representatives. Developing countries with poorer populations could afford no more than a couple dozen delegates. To help create fair trade agreements for the rich and poor, Head and fellow nongovernmental delegates from the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva offered their counsel to smaller delegations on issues ranging from intellectual property rights to agricultural subsidies. They provided counsel to delegations from India, the Philippines, and the African Country Group. Head served as the organization’s economist.
Head long has been active in national and international Quaker organizations. He is a former member of the board of directors of the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia and the Quaker United Nations Office in New York.
Participating in the globe’s largest international trade event also is relevant to Head’s full-time job. He teaches international trade, economics, and global political economics at George Fox.