|Promoting democracy by challenging corporate globalization|
The mission of Global Trade Watch (GTW) is to ensure that in this era of globalization, a majority have the opportunity to enjoy America's promises: economic security, a clean environment, safe food, medicines and products, access to quality affordable services such as health care and the exercise of democratic decision-making about the matters that affect their lives.
The Peru FTA After One Year
Public Citizen released a new report in February 2010 on the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement. Proponents of the Peru FTA claimed that it would improve economic and social conditions in Peru, yet as the report demonstrates, environmental and labor conditions in Peru have deteriorated rapidly since the congressional passage of the FTA in late 2007 and implementation in early 2009.
Tens Years After Seattle, Time For a WTO Turnaround
Ten years after the world's most powerful governments and corporations failed to launch a massive WTO expansion at the 1999 Seattle WTO Ministerial, there still is no WTO expansion. BUT, there also is still no WTO turnaround - and the current rules are causing major damage on many fronts. Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division, explored the issue on Grit TV this week and in a recent piece in the Nation magazine. You can find out more on our blog, www.eyesontrade.org.
Time For a WTO Turnaround
Public Citizen and allied organizations are launching a new WTO Turnaround campaign to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Seattle WTO protests. Visit WTOturnaround.org to view and sign a petition to President Obama urging him to deliver on his trade reform campaign promises and chart a new course for the WTO.
You can also listen to an MP3 recording of our October 19 press conference call launching WTOturnaround.org.
Landmark Trade Expansion Legislation:
The Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, which outlines a way forward to a new trade and globalization agenda that could benefit more Americans, was introduced in the House for the 2009-2010 session on June 24. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine; pictured above at podium), and boasts a list of 134 cosponsors. Among the cosponsors are 11 committee chairs, 55 subcommittee chairs and the full range of Democratic caucuses and geography.
This legislation translates into action the specific commitments for trade reform made by many members of Congress over the past two election cycles and by President Obama during his campaign. Read our full press release and see more coverage at Eyes on Trade.
Check out our One-Stop TRADE Act Fact Sheet (PDF).
For more information, please visit the TRADE Act section of this website, featuring a video briefing for activists from GTW Director Lori Wallach.
New Report: Panama FTA Would Undermine U.S. Efforts to Stop Offshore Tax-Haven Abuse
President Obama's ability to deliver on his campaign commitments to close tax loopholes that promote offshoring and re-regulate the financial sector would be dealt a sharp blow if the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is passed, according to a Public Citizen report released on April 29. The new report details how Panama explicitly created an industrial policy designed to create a "comparative advantage" in tax-evasion and money-laundering services for entities such as the bailed-out American International Group (AIG) and Mexican and Colombian narcotraffickers. The report also examines how specific FTA rules would remove key policy tools – such as limitations on transfers from tax-haven countries that are used to combat financial crimes – and would also conflict with U.S. government efforts to combat the global economic crisis by re-regulating finance.
For more information:
As Obama Heads Abroad, Major Analysis Shows Real Effects of Today's "Trade" Model
Mexico was once highlighted as the model of free trade's promise. Fifteen years after NAFTA, the failure of Mexico's development strategy is evident. GTW hosted a press conference call on April 14 (listen to the audio here) covering research by Kevin Gallagher and Tim Wise (both of the Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute) showing that despite increased trade, investment and productivity, and relatively stable macroeconomic conditions, under the NAFTA model Mexico's economy grew very slowly. At the Summit of the Americas, Obama will be shaking hands with an unprecedented and diverse mix of Latin American leaders elected in part because of the backlash against the kinds of free-trade policies championed by U.S. leaders for two decades. GTW's call and the Tufts research puts this backash in context. Listen to the full audio of the call as an MP3 recording.
House Members Send Letter to Obama Reaffirming Fair Trade Campaign Commitments
On February 26, 54 House members sent President Obama a letter describing a trade reform agenda (PDF) about which they are excited to work in cooperation with him. On issues ranging from renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and creating new import safety policies to remedying the failed U.S.-China trade relationship, the letter focuses largely on implementing Obama's campaign pledges to transform U.S. trade and globalization policies.
This letter preceded a March 18 letter from 350 civil society organizations (PDF) expressing excitement about working with Obama and his new U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, on an array of fair trade reforms.
Election 2008: Fair Trade Gets an Upgrade
From the presidency to both chambers of Congress and from traditionally "free trade" Florida to Colorado and New York to New Mexico, successful candidates in 2008 election races ran on a platform of fundamental overhaul of U.S. trade and globalization policies including a growing number of Republicans, with a net increase in Congress of at least 30 fair trade supporters, according to our new report, Fair Trade Gets an Upgrade (PDF). The number of fair-trade pick-ups in Congress may increase depending on the results of several races not yet called.
For more information, please see:
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