What does the WTO do?

The correct answer is:

The World Trade Organization -- a 134-country group established in 1995 -- governs trade between participating countries and governs national laws that impact trade. The WTO can fine countries or impose trade sanctions if it decides a member is putting up unfair barriers to trade -- like, oh, stringent product-safety standards.

The Seattle answer is:

"I've heard they're evil." -- Kevin Horning, programmer at Safeco Insurance.

"I have a friend who is really involved in this: I know they're trying to deforest places for more buildings and offices." -- Amy Stoops, 24-year-old UW student.

"It regulates free trade among its member nations. They make sure all the borders are open and that the nations are playing nice together." -- Kennedy, former MTV VJ and current local radio host.

"...Makes international laws that are typically good for big businesses who want to make tons of money...." -- Chris Walla, Death Cab for Cutie guitarist.

"Monopolize on small countries to bring them into a New World Order." -- Joshua Randall, 24-year-old carpenter.

Are you pro- or anti-WTO?

The correct answer is:


The Seattle answer is:

"Con." -- Christina Voyles, barista #1.

"Neither; I'm not very political." -- Paul Westphal, Sonics coach.

"I think I'm against it, because I don't like big business." -- Riley Yates-Doerr, 18-year-old UW student.

"I can't say, because the only demonstration I've seen was here on campus. People were saying the WTO kills wildlife. They looked kind of dumb, and I was laughing at them." -- UW student, who wouldn't give her name.

What's the worst or best thing the WTO has done?

The correct answer is:

The WTO is bad, bad, bad! Take your pick from these doozies. The WTO is forcing the European Union (they're freaked out about genetically altered food over there) to pay upward of $124 million annually because the EU refused to open its markets to good old, made-in-the-USA, hormone-treated beef. The WTO ruled that it's illegal for a government to ban a product based on the way it is produced -- as in child labor. The WTO is threatening South Africa with sanctions, because that country proposed health laws that would have banned pharmaceutical companies from offering "economic incentives" to doctors who push their drugs. The WTO ignores the U.S. Clean Air Act.

The Seattle answer is:

"I don't know." -- barista #1.

"I have no idea of anything they've ever done." -- Speight Jenkins, director of the Seattle Opera.

"Without the WTO, I think Russia might still be together." -- Joshua Randall, 24-year-old carpenter.

"If they lower my taxes, it's good." -- Sonics coach.

"I can't think of anything." -- Kevin Horning -- the Safeco programmer who heard WTO was "evil."

"The worst thing the WTO has ever done was decide to have the conference in Seattle." -- Chris Walla, Death Cab for Cutie guitarist.

What do you hope this week's protests accomplish?

The correct answer is:

A week off of work.

The Seattle answer is:

"They could take a shot at Al Gore." -- Michael Robinson, barista #2.

"The protests don't really do one thing or another." -- Riley Yates-Doerr, 18-year-old UW student.

"Seattle is the best city for people to work to change things within the WTO: because not only are people politically aware, but they are level-headed." -- Kennedy.

"I really don't know what they're protesting." -- That UW student who wouldn't give her name.

"I don't like protests." -- Sonics coach.

What's your salary?

The correct answer is:

$41,000 (the average personal income in King County in 1998, thanks to Bill Gates).

The Seattle answer is:

"Confidential." -- Sonics coach.

"We don't go into that." -- Seattle Opera director.

"Shall we tell them? They don't pay us. We work for coffee." -- barista #2.

Who is Charlene Barshefsky?

The correct answer is:

The U.S. Trade Representative to the WTO.

The Seattle answer is:

Nobody seems to know.

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