Planet Not For Sale

10 Tall Tales on Trade: Fact-Checking Obama’s Top Trade Official

Eyes on Trade - 28 January, 2015 - 15:07

Yesterday was a difficult day for U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman.  He had to go before Congress and explain how the administration’s plan to expand a trade model that has offshored U.S. manufacturing jobs and exacerbated middle class wage stagnation fits with President Obama’s stated “middle class economics” agenda.

Inconveniently for Mr. Froman, it does not.

That did not stop Froman from trying to paint the last two decades of Fast-Tracked, pro-offshoring trade deals – and the administration’s plan for more of the same – as a gift to the middle class. 

The facts he cited to support this depiction actually sounded great.  They just didn’t have the added advantage of being true. 

Here’s a rundown of the top 10 fibs and half-truths that Froman uttered before the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee yesterday in his sales pitch for the administration’s bid to expand the NAFTA “trade” pact model by Fast-Tracking through Congress the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

1. Fast Track Puts Congress in the Driver’s Seat (of a Runaway Car, without Brakes or a Steering Wheel)

Froman: “[Fast Track] puts Congress in the driver’s seat to define U.S. negotiating objectives and priorities for trade agreements.”

Okay, let’s go with this analogy.  If reviving Fast Track puts Congress in the driver’s seat, it also removes the brakes and steering wheel.  Reviving Fast Track would empower the administration to negotiate and sign a sweeping “trade” pact like the TPP – implicating everything from the cost of medicines to the safety of food to the reform of Wall Street – before Congress had any enforceable say over the deal’s contents, even if they contradicted Congress’ stated negotiating objectives.  Goodbye steering wheel.  Congress’ role would be relegated to an expedited, no-amendments, limited-debate vote on the already-signed deal.  Goodbye brakes. 

Also, if we’re talking about Fast Tracking the TPP, the car is already going 60mph.  As a couple of members of Congress pointed out to Froman, the administration has been negotiating the TPP for more than five years, and Froman himself stated that TPP negotiations are in their endgame.  Even if Froman’s assertion were true that Fast Track allows Congress to define priorities for trade agreements (rather than ensuring that such priorities are not enforceable), it’s a little late for members of Congress to be naming priorities for a deal that has been under negotiation since 2009 and that Froman hopes to close in the coming months.

2. A Trade Surplus with Our FTA Partners (Does Not Appear in Official Government Data)

Froman: “You take all of our FTA partners as a whole, [and] we have a trade surplus. And that trade surplus has grown.”  Froman also claimed that the United States has a trade surplus in manufactured goods with its FTA partners.  And he tried to use red herrings to explain away the surging U.S. trade deficit with Korea under the Korea FTA.

These claims defy official U.S. government data.  Data from the U.S. International Trade Commission show that the United States has a $180 billion U.S. goods trade deficit with all free trade agreement (FTA) partners (in 2013, the latest year on record).  In manufactured goods, the United States has a $51 billion manufacturing trade deficit with all FTA partners.  Froman claimed otherwise, in part, by counting billions of dollars’ worth of "foreign exports" – goods produced abroad that simply pass through the United States without alteration before being “re-exported.”  These goods, by definition, do not support U.S. production jobs.

Contributing to our FTA deficit is the 50 percent surge in the U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea in just the first two years of the Korea FTA, which literally was used as the U.S. template for the TPP. This deficit increase, owing to a drop in exports and rise in imports, spells the loss of more than 50,000 American jobs in the FTA's first two years, according to the ratio used by the administration to claim the pact would create jobs. Froman tried to explain away the ballooning U.S. trade deficit under the Korea FTA as due to decreases in corn and fossil fuel exports.  But even if discounting both corn and fossil fuels, U.S. annual exports to Korea still fell under the FTA, and the annual trade deficit with Korea still soared.  Product-specific anomalies cannot explain away the broad-based downfall of U.S. exports to Korea under the FTA, which afflicted nine of the top 15 U.S. sectors that export to Korea. The disappointing results also cannot be blamed on low growth in Korea since the FTA.  Though Korea's growth rates in the last several years have not been spectacular, the economy has still grown since the FTA (3 percent in 2013), as has consumption (2.2 percent, adjusted for inflation, in 2013). Koreans are buying more goods, just not U.S. goods. 

 

3.  We Wish to Ensure Access to Affordable Medicines in the TPP (but Big Pharma Won’t Let Us)

Froman: “In negotiations, like TPP, we are working to ensure access to affordable life-saving medicines, including in the developing world, and create incentives for the development of new treatment and cures that benefit the world and which create the pipeline for generic drugs.”

These words play politics with people’s lives. They cloak the tragic reality that if the TPP would take effect as USTR has proposed, with leaks showing even greater monopoly protections for pharmaceutical corporations than in prior pacts, people would needlessly die for lack of access to affordable medicines. A new study finds, for example, that the TPP would dramatically reduce the share of Vietnam’s HIV patients who have access to life-saving antiretroviral medicines.  The study reveals that while 68 percent of Vietnam’s eligible HIV patients currently receive treatment, U.S.-proposed monopoly protections for pharmaceutical corporations in the TPP would allow only 30 percent of Vietnam’s HIV patients to access antiretrovirals.  As a result, an estimated 45,000 people with HIV in Vietnam who currently receive antiretroviral treatment would no longer be able to afford the life-saving drugs.

Froman also indicated in the Senate hearing that USTR is pushing to include a special monopoly protection for pharmaceutical firms that contradicts the Obama administration’s own stated objectives for reducing the cost of medicines in the United States. President Obama’s budget proposes to reduce a special monopoly protection for pharmaceutical firms with regard to biologic medicines – drugs used to combat cancer and other diseases that cost approximately 22 times more than conventional medicines.  To lower the exorbitant prices and the resulting burden on programs like Medicare and Medicaid, the Obama administration’s 2015 budget would reduce the period of Big Pharma's monopoly protection for biologics from 12 to seven years. The administration estimates this would save taxpayers more than $4.2 billion over the next decade just for federal programs. However, Froman suggested yesterday that USTR continues to push for the 12 years of corporate protection in the TPP, which would lock into place pharmaceutical firms’ lengthy monopolies here at home while effectively scrapping the administration’s own proposal to save billions in unnecessary healthcare costs.

4. Most Exporters are Small Businesses (that Have Endured Slow and Falling Exports under FTAs)

Froman: “15,600 firms export from Pennsylvania. Almost 90 percent of them are small and medium sized businesses. And the question is whether with these trade agreements we can create more opportunities for these kinds of businesses.”

Implying that exporting is mainly the domain of small businesses because they make up most exporting firms is like implying that the NBA is a league of short people because most NBA players are shorter than 7 feet tall.  The reason small and medium enterprises (defined as 500 employees or less) comprise most U.S. exporting firms is simply because they constitute 99.7 percent of U.S. firms overall (in the same way that those of us below 7 feet constitute more than 99 percent of the U.S. population).  The more relevant question is what share of small and medium firms actually depend on exports for their success. Only 3 percent of U.S. small and medium enterprises export any good to any country. In contrast, 38 percent of large U.S. firms are exporters.  Even if FTAs actually succeeded in boosting exports (which they don’t, per the government data noted below), exporting is primarily the domain of large corporations, not small businesses.

As for whether “with these trade agreements we can create more opportunities” for small firms, the record of past FTAs suggests not. Under the Korea FTA, U.S. small businesses have seen their exports to Korea decline even more sharply than large firms (a 14 percent vs. 3 percent downfall in the first year of the FTA). And small firms’ exports to Mexico and Canada under NAFTA have grown more slowly than their exports to the rest of the world. Small businesses’ exports to all non-NAFTA countries grew over 50 percent more than their exports to Canada and Mexico (74 percent vs. 47 percent) during a 1996-2012 window of data availability. The sluggish export growth owes in part to the fact that small businesses’ exports grew less than half as much as large firms’ exports to NAFTA partners (47 percent vs. 97 percent from 1996-2012).

5. We Try to Be Transparent (with the Corporate Advisors Who Can Access Secret Texts)

Froman: “And to ensure these agreements are balanced, we seek a diversity of voices in America’s trade policy. The Administration has taken unprecedented steps to increase transparency… We have held public hearings soliciting the public’s input on the negotiations and suspended negotiating rounds to host first-of-a-kind stakeholder events so that the public can provide our negotiators with direct feedback on the negotiations.”

“A diversity of voices” is an odd way to describe the more than 500 official trade advisors with privileged access to secretive U.S. trade texts and U.S. trade negotiators.  About nine out of ten of these advisors explicitly represent industry interests. Just 10 of the more than 500 advisors (less than 2 percent) represent environmental, consumer, development, food safety, financial regulation, Internet freedom, or public health organizations.  It’s little wonder that so many of these groups, excluded from setting the content of the TPP, have denounced leaked TPP texts as presenting threats to the public interest.  And as for the claim of “unprecedented steps to increase transparency,” the reality is closer to the opposite. When the Bush administration negotiated the last similarly sweeping trade pact – the Free Trade Area of the Americas – USTR published the negotiating text online for anyone to see amid negotiations. In a step backwards from the degree of transparency exhibited by the Bush administration, the Obama administration has refused repeated calls from members of Congress and civil society organizations to release TPP texts. This secrecy limits the utility of the public hearings and stakeholder events that Froman touts, as it is difficult to opine on a text you are prohibited from seeing.

6. Supporting Manufacturing and Higher Wages (Is a Goal in Spite of Our Trade Policies)

Froman: “In 2015, the Obama Administration will continue to pursue trade policies aimed at supporting the growth of manufacturing and associated high-quality jobs here at home and maintaining American manufacturers’ competitive edge.”

The only objectionable word in this sentence is “continue.” Since NAFTA, we have endured a net loss of nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs – one out of every four – and more than 57,000 manufacturing facilities. While not all of those losses are due to NAFTA, the deal’s inclusion of special protections for firms that relocate abroad certainly contributed to the hemorrhaging of U.S. manufacturing. The U.S. manufactured goods trade balance with Canada and Mexico in NAFTA’s first 20 years changed from a $5 billion surplus in 1993 to a $64.9 billion deficit in 2013. The U.S. Department of Labor has certified (under one narrow program) more than 845,000 specific U.S. workers – many of them in manufacturing – as enduring “trade-related” job losses since NAFTA due to the offshoring of their factories to Mexico or Canada, or import competition from those countries. And under just two years of the Korea FTA, U.S. manufacturing exports to Korea have fallen. Overall, the United States has a $51 billion trade deficit in manufactured goods with its 20 FTA partners. Reviving manufacturing and reviving Fast Track for the NAFTA-expanding TPP are incompatible.

Froman: “At a time when too many workers haven't seen their paychecks grow in much too long, these jobs typically pay up to 18% more on average than non-export related jobs.” 

Froman neglects to mention a key reason that too many workers haven’t seen their paychecks grow: NAFTA-style deals have not only incentivized the offshoring of well-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs, but forced these workers to compete for lower-paid service sector jobs, which has contributed to downward pressure on wages even in non-offshoreable sectors.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about three out of every five displaced manufacturing workers who were rehired in 2014 experienced a wage reduction. About one out of every three displaced manufacturing workers took a pay cut of greater than 20 percent. As increasing numbers of American workers, displaced from better-paying jobs by current trade policies, have joined the glut of workers competing for non-offshoreable jobs in retail, hospitality and healthcare, real wages have actually been declining in these growing sectors. A litany of studies has produced an academic consensus that such trade dynamics have contributed to the historic increase in U.S. income inequality – the only debate is the degree to which trade is to blame. The TPP would not only replicate, but actually expand, NAFTA’s extraordinary privileges for firms that relocate abroad and eliminate many of the usual risks that make firms think twice about moving to low-wage countries like Vietnam – a TPP negotiating partner where minimum wages average less than 60 cents an hour, making the country a low-cost offshoring alternative to even China.

7. The TPP Supports an Internet that Is Open (to Lawsuits for Common Online Activity)

Froman: "We will continue to support a free and open Internet that encourages the flow of information across the digital world."

Repetition of this platitude has failed to assuage the concerns of Internet freedom groups that point out that leaked TPP texts do not support Froman’s assurances. In a July 2014 letter, an array of Internet service providers, tech companies, and Internet freedom groups wrote to Froman about leaked TPP copyright terms, some of which resemble provisions in the defeated Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which could “significantly constrain legitimate online activity and innovation.”  Noting the deal’s terms on Internet service provider liability, the groups stated, “We are worried about language that would force service providers throughout the region to monitor and policy their users’ actions on the internet, pass on automated takedown notices, block websites and disconnect Internet users.”

8. Our Exports Have Grown (More Quickly to Non-FTA Countries)

Froman: “Our total exports have grown by nearly 50 percent and contributed nearly one-third of our economic growth since the second quarter of 2009. In 2013, the most recent year on record, American exports reached a record high of $2.3 trillion...” “By opening rapidly expanding markets with millions of new middle-class consumers in parts of the globe like the Asia-Pacific, our trade agreements will help our businesses and workers access overseas markets...”

U.S. goods exports grew by a grand total of 0 percent in 2013.   The year before that, they grew by 2 percent.  As a result, the administration utterly failed to reach President Obama’s stated goal to double U.S. exports from 2009 to 2014. Most of the export growth Froman cites – which is less than half of the administration’s stated objective – came early in Obama’s tenure as a predictable rebound from the global recession that followed the 2007-2008 financial crisis.  At the abysmal export growth rate seen since then, we will not reach Obama’s stated goal to double 2009’s exports until 2054, 40 years behind schedule.  

Froman ironically uses this export growth drop-off to argue for more-of-the-same trade policy (e.g. the TPP).  The data simply does not support the oft-parroted pitch that we need TPP-style FTAs to boost exports.  In the first two years of the Korea FTA, U.S. exports to Korea have fallen 5 percent.  Overall, growth of U.S. exports to countries that are not FTA partners has exceeded U.S. export growth to countries that are FTA partners by 30 percent over the last decade.  That’s not a solid basis from which to argue, in the name of exports, for yet another FTA. 

And if we’re seeking to export to those countries that are growing the fastest, then the TPP is the wrong trade pact.  Of the TPP countries with which we do not already have an FTA, all but one are actually growing more slowly than the per capita growth rate of the East Asian and Pacific region overall.     

9. Increases in Food Exports (Have Been Swamped by a Surge in Food Imports)

Froman: “In 2013, U.S. farmers and ranchers exported a record $148.7 billion of food and agricultural goods to consumers around the world.”

Yes, U.S. food exports have increased, but not nearly as much as food imports. In 2013, the total volume of U.S. food exports stood just 0.5 percent higher than in 1995, while imports of food into the United States had more than doubled (growing 115 percent since 1995). Existing FTAs have contributed to the imbalanced food trade. The average annual U.S. agricultural deficit with Canada and Mexico under NAFTA’s first two decades reached $975 million, almost three times the pre-NAFTA level. And under the first two years of the Korea FTA, U.S. agricultural exports to Korea plummeted 34 percent. Smaller-scale U.S. family farms have been hardest hit. About 170,000 small U.S. family farms have gone under since NAFTA and NAFTA expansion pacts have taken effect, a 21 percent decrease in the total number.

10. The TPP Takes Heed of NAFTA’s Mistakes (and Builds on Them)

Froman: “I think the President has made clear that as we pursue a new trade policy, we need to learn from the experiences of the past and that’s certainly what we’re doing through TPP and the rest of our agenda. For example, when he was running for President, he said we ought to renegotiate NAFTA. What that meant was to make labor and environment not side issues that weren’t enforceable, but to bring labor and environment in the core of the agreement and make them enforceable just like any other provision of the trade agreement consistent with what Congress and the previous administration worked out in the so-called May 10th agreement.”

When candidate Obama said in 2008 that he would renegotiate NAFTA – a pact that had become broadly unpopular for incentivizing the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing jobs – most people probably didn’t imagine that he meant expanding those offshoring incentives further. But the TPP would extend further NAFTA’s extraordinary privileges for firms that relocate abroad to low-wage countries (like TPP negotiating partner Vietnam).  Most people also probably would not expect “learning from the experiences of the past” to lead to an expansion of the monopoly protections that NAFTA gave to pharmaceutical corporations, thereby reducing the availability of generics and increasing the cost of medicines. But Froman himself stated yesterday that such corporate protections – antithetical to textbook notions of “free trade” – are part of the TPP’s NAFTA-plus provisions.

And though Froman touts the May 10 deal as an improvement over NAFTA for labor rights, a recent government report has shown the May 10 provisions to be ineffective at curbing labor abuses in FTA partner countries. A November 2014 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found broad labor rights violations across all five surveyed FTA partner countries, regardless of whether or not the FTA included the labor provisions of the vaunted May 10 deal, including unionist murders in Colombia and impunity for union-busting in Peru.  Several of the TPP negotiating partners are notorious labor rights abusers – four of them were cited in a recent Department of Labor report for using child and/or forced labor. Vietnam, meanwhile, outright bans independent unions. Why would incorporation of the same terms that have failed to curb labor abuses in existing FTAs be expected to end the systematic labor rights abuses of TPP partners? 

And despite the May 10 deal’s environmental provisions, the TPP’s extraordinary investment provisions would empower thousands of foreign firms to bypass domestic courts, go before extrajudicial tribunals, and challenge new domestic environmental protections as "frustrating their expectations." Corporations have already used such foreign investor privileges under existing U.S. FTAs to attack a moratorium on fracking, renewable energy programs, and requirements to clean up oil pollution and industrial toxins.  Tribunals comprised of three private attorneys have already ordered taxpayers to pay hundreds of millions to foreign firms for such safeguards, arguing that they violate sweeping FTA-granted investor privileges that the TPP would expand.  Provisions, such as those in the May 10 deal, that call for countries to enforce their environmental laws sound hollow under a TPP that would simultaneously empower corporations to “sue” countries for said enforcement. 

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Obama vs. Obama: The State of the Union's Self-Defeating Trade Pitch

Eyes on Trade - 21 January, 2015 - 04:46

In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama called for job creation, reduced income inequality, more affordable healthcare and better regulation of Wall Street. 

He also called for Fast Tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a controversial “trade” deal that would undermine all of the above.

Here's a side-by-side analysis of how Obama's push to Fast Track the TPP contradicts his own State of the Union agenda:

Obama’s Agenda

The TPP’s Counter-Agenda

Income Inequality: “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”

An “economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well” is actually the projected outcome of the TPP. A recent study finds that the TPP would spell a pay cut for all but the richest 10 percent of U.S. workers by exacerbating U.S. income inequality, just as past trade deals have done

Manufacturing revival: “More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking at bringing jobs back from China. Let’s give them one more reason to get it done.”

The TPP would give manufacturing firms a reason to offshore jobs to Vietnam, not bring them back from China. The TPP would expand NAFTA’s special protections for firms that offshore American manufacturing, including to Vietnam, where minimum wages are a fraction of those paid in China. Since NAFTA, we have endured a net loss of more than 57,000 U.S. manufacturing facilities and nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs.

American jobs: “So no one knows for certain which industries will generate the jobs of the future. But we do know we want them here in America.”

 

TPP rules would gut the popular Buy American preferences that require government-purchased goods to be made here in America, preventing us from recycling our tax dollars back into our economy to create U.S. jobs.

Exports: “Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages.”

Those who wish for more exports should wish for a different trade agenda. U.S. exports to countries that are part of TPP-like deals have actually grown slower than exports to the rest of the world, according to government data. Under the Korea deal that literally served as the template for the TPP, U.S. exports have actually fallen.

Small businesses: “21st century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas.”

Small businesses have endured declining exports and export shares under pacts serving as the model for the TPP. Small businesses suffered a steeper downfall in exports than large firms under the Korea trade pact, and small businesses’ export share has declined under NAFTA.

Economic growth: “Maintaining the conditions for growth and competitiveness. This is where America needs to go.”

An official U.S. government study finds that the economic growth we could expect from the TPP is precisely zero, while economists like Paul Krugman have scoffed at the deal’s economic significance.

Middle class wages: “Of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages.”

The TPP would put downward pressure on middle class wages, just as NAFTA has, by offshoring the jobs of decently-paid American manufacturing workers and forcing them to compete for lower-paying, non-offshoreable jobs.

Legacy of past trade deals: “Look, I’m the first one to admit that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype, and that’s why we’ve gone after countries that break the rules at our expense.”

Past trade deals have resulted in massive trade deficits and job loss not because the pacts’ rules have been broken, but because of the rules themselves. The TPP would double down on NAFTA’s rules – the opposite of Obama’s promise to renegotiate the unpopular pact – by expanding NAFTA’s offshoring incentives, limits on food safety standards, restrictions on financial regulation and other threats to American workers and consumers.

Affordable medicines: “…middle-class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change. That means helping folks afford …health care…”

The TPP would directly contradict Obama’s efforts to reduce U.S. healthcare costs by expanding monopoly patent protections that jack up medicine prices and by imposing restrictions on the U.S. government’s ability to negotiate or mandate lower drug prices for taxpayer-funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Wall Street regulation: “We believed that sensible regulations could prevent another crisis…Today, we have new tools to stop taxpayer-funded bailouts, and a new consumer watchdog to protect us from predatory lending and abusive credit card practices…We can’t put the security of families at risk by…unraveling the new rules on Wall Street…”

Senator Warren has warned that the TPP could help banks unravel the new rules on Wall Street by prohibiting bans on risky financial products and “too big to fail” safeguards while empowering foreign banks to “sue” the U.S. government over new financial regulations.

Internet freedom: “I intend to protect a free and open internet…”

The TPP includes rules that implicate net neutrality and that would require Internet service providers to police our Internet activity – rules similar to those in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that was rejected as a threat to Internet freedom.

National interests: “But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. That would put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage. Why would we let that happen?”

With the TPP, multinational corporations want to write the rules that would put our workers at a disadvantage and undermine our national interests. TPP rules, written behind closed doors under the advisement of hundreds of official corporate advisers, would provide benefits for firms that offshore American jobs, help pharmaceutical corporations expand monopoly patent protections that drive up medicine prices, give banks new tools to roll back Wall Street regulations, and empower foreign firms to “sue” the U.S. government over health and environmental policies. Why would we let that happen? 

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Using Regionally Grown Grains and Pulses in School Meals

Subtitle:  Best Practices, Supply Chain Analysis and Case Studies Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Tomorrow's Table LLC; Kaylee Skaar, IATP intern File:  2015_02_02_GrainsAndPulses_EMV.pdf Best Practices for using regionally grown grains and legumes in school meals Healthy, regionally grown grains and legumes are a growing part of Farm to School. Our six case studies on the introduction of locally grown grains and pulses feature school districts, food vendors and partners in communities ranging from: Portland, Ore.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Ithaca, N.Y.; Hopkins, Minn.; Fairbanks, Alaska and...

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Obama’s Legacy: Middle-Class Jobs, Affordable Medicine and Financial Stability, or Fast-Tracked Trade Agreements – But Not Both

Eyes on Trade - 15 January, 2015 - 16:13

New Report ‘Prosperity Undermined’ Fact Checks Administration, Corporate Lobbyists and GOP Leadership With 20 Years of Data on Jobs, Economy

Fast Tracked trade deals have exacerbated the income inequality crisis, pushed good American jobs overseas, driven down U.S. wages, exploded the trade deficit and diminished small businesses’ share of U.S. exports, a new report from Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch shows. The report, “Prosperity Undermined,”compiles and analyzes 20 years of trade and economic data to show that the arguments again being made in favor of providing the Obama administration with Fast Track trade authority have repeatedly proved false.

President Barack Obama is expected to push Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The pact, initiated by George W. Bush, literally replicates most of the job-offshoring incentives and wage-crunching terms found in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and would roll back Obama administration achievements on health, financial regulation and more. 

“It’s not surprising that Democrats and Republicans alike are speaking out against Fast Track because it cuts Congress out of shaping trade pacts that most Americans believe cost jobs while empowering the president to sign and enter into secret deals before Congress approves them,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “In their speeches and commentary, the administration, corporate interests and GOP leadership disregard the real, detrimental impacts that previous fast tracked trade deals – which serve as the model for the Trans-Pacific Partnership – have had on America’s middle class over the past 20 years.”

With unprecedented unity among Democratic members of Congress, there will be a handful of Democratic House votes in favor of Fast Track. Last year, seven of 201 House Democrats  supported Fast Track legislation. Meanwhile, a sizable bloc of GOP House members oppose Fast Track, which would grant the president extensive new executive powers and delegate away core congressional constitutional authorities.

The new report shows a 20-year record of massive U.S. trade deficits, American job losses and wage suppression. More specifically, data show that:

  • Trade Deficits Have Exploded: U.S. trade deficits have grown more than 440 percent with Fast Tracked U.S. FTA countries since the pacts were implemented, but declined 16 percent with non-FTA countries during the relevant period. Since Fast Track was used to enact NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, the U.S. goods trade deficit has more than quadrupled, from $216 billion to $870 billion. Small businesses’ share of U.S. exports has declined, while U.S. export growth to countries that are not FTA partners has exceeded U.S. export growth to FTA partners by 30 percent over the past decade.  ‘
  • Good American Jobs Were Destroyed: Nearly 5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs – one in four – were lost since the Fast Tracking of NAFTA and various NAFTA-expansion deals. Since NAFTA, more than 845,000 U.S. workers have been certified under just one narrow U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) program for Americans who have lost their jobs due to imports from Canada and Mexico and offshored factories to those countries.
  • U.S. Wages Have Stagnated, Inequality Soared: Three of every five manufacturing workers who lose jobs to trade and find reemployment take pay cuts, with one in three losing greater than 20 percent, according to DOL data. Overall, U.S. wages have barely increased in real terms since 1974 – the year that Fast Track was first enacted – while American worker productivity has doubled. Since Fast Track’s enactment, the share of national income captured by the richest 10 percent of Americans has shot up 51 percent, while that captured by the richest 1 percent has skyrocketed 146 percent. Study after study has revealed an academic consensus that status quo trade has contributed to today’s unprecedented rise in income inequality.
  • Food Exports Flat, Imports Soared: Under NAFTA and the WTO, U.S. food exports have stagnated while food imports have doubled. The average annual U.S. agricultural deficit with Canada and Mexico under NAFTA’s first two decades reached $975 million, almost three times the pre-NAFTA level. Approximately 170,000 small U.S. family farms have gone under since NAFTA and WTO took effect.
  • Damaging Results of Obama’s “New and Improved” Korea Trade Deal: Since the Obama administration used Fast Track to push a trade agreement with Korea, the U.S. trade deficit with Korea has grown 50 percent – which equates to 50,000 more American jobs lost. The U.S. had a $3 billion monthly trade deficit with Korea in October 2014 – the highest monthly U.S. goods trade deficit with the country on record. After the Korea FTA went into effect, U.S. small businesses’ exports to Korea declined more sharply than large firms’ exports, falling 14 percent.

“Big dollars for big corporations and special interests calling the shots – that’s what the American people hear when only the country’s top corporate lobbyists are shaping America’s trade agreements,” said Wallach. “With such high stakes, we cannot let the Fast Track process lock Congress and the public out of negotiations that will have lasting impacts on the livelihoods, rights and freedoms of American families, workers and businesses.”

Read the report.          

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Deepening Food Democracy

Language:  English IATP author(s):  Dr. M. Jahi Chappell Author(s) (external):  Jill Carlson File:  2015_01_06_Agrodemocracy_JC_JC_f.pdf Introduction Imagine a group of 15 citizens from your community. These citizens are a cross-section from your community, representative in gender, age, education, party affiliation and ethnicity. They gather to discuss their concerns about the impacts of climate change on their lives and potential steps to overcome those challenges. After days of discussing their collective community vision of what a sustainable and resilient community is, they draft a citizen’s report. This report is used as a launching pad for conversations and actions with their local government and their community...

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Report: Fungicide resistance poses serious threat to human health, agriculture

Language:  English IATP author(s):  Andrew Ranallo File:  2015_01_07_Fungicide_PR.pdf Minneapolis – The beneficial effects of fungicides are rapidly dwindling, opening a vulnerability to fungi in plants and animals, says a new report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). Fungicide Resistance: Risk and Consequences in Modern Agriculture takes an in-depth look at how and why fungicide resistance is growing and the connection to agriculture and public health. “While fungal resistance is evolutionary biology at work, there are human activities and practices that contribute to and speed up resistance,” says IATP’s VP for Communications Dale Wiehoff. The report identifies factors such as industrial agriculture based on multi-year mono-cropping; the...

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Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Fungicide Resistance

Subtitle:  Risk and Consequence in Modern Agriculture Language:  English Author(s) (external):  L.F.T. Luce File:  2014_12_23_Fungicide_LL.pdf Executive Summary Fungi are ubiquitous and vital members of nearly all ecosystems on our planet, from untouched wilderness to carefully managed agriculture. In our interaction with these creatures we have experienced both extraordinary benefits—including harnessing the process of fermentation—and terrible losses—including the Irish Potato Famine. The majority of fungal species are detritivores, quietly decomposing and recycling organic matter in soil or water. But some species are parasites, and they can threaten the health of humans, our crops and livestock, and...

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Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Congressional Leaders Reject Wall Street’s Push for Deregulatory “Trade” Pacts

Eyes on Trade - 19 December, 2014 - 17:15

The Obama administration needs to stop negotiating so-called “trade” deals with deregulatory rules pushed by the likes of Citigroup that would undermine the re-regulation of Wall Street. 

That’s the message that Senator Elizabeth Warren – champion of financial reform and member of the Senate Banking Committee, Congresswoman Maxine Waters – Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, and other congressional leaders have delivered to the administration in recent letters.  

The members of Congress warn against expanding the deregulatory strictures of pre-financial-crisis trade pacts, crafted in the 1990s under the advisement of Wall Street firms, via two pacts currently under negotiation: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA, also known as TTIP). 

As proposed, both pacts would include controversial foreign investor privileges that would empower some of the world’s largest banks to demand U.S. taxpayer money for having to comply with U.S. financial stability policies.  

Yesterday, Sen. Warren and Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Edward Markey sent U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman a letter calling for such “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) provisions, which have sparked global controversy, to be excluded from the TPP.  The letter states:

Including such provisions in the TPP could expose American taxpayers to billions of dollars in losses and dissuade the government from establishing or enforcing financial rules that impact foreign banks. The consequence would be to strip our regulators of the tools they need to prevent the next crisis.

Earlier this month, Rep. Waters and Reps. Lacy Clay, Keith Ellison, and Raúl Grijalva sent a similar letter to Froman that called for ISDS to be excluded from TAFTA to safeguard financial stability, stating:

Private foreign investors should not be empowered to circumvent U.S. courts, go before extrajudicial tribunals and demand compensation from U.S. taxpayers because they do not like U.S. domestic financial regulatory policies with which all firms operating here must comply. 

TPP and TAFTA negotiators are also contemplating pre-crisis rules that would threaten commonsense prudential regulations such as restrictions on derivatives and other risky financial products, measures to keep banks from becoming “too big to fail,” firewalls to protect our savings accounts from hedge-fund-style bets, capital controls to prevent financial crises, and a Wall Street tax to counter speculative and destabilizing bubbles.  

Senators Warren, Baldwin, and Markey made clear in their letter that such anachronistic rules must not be inserted into a binding pact:

To protect consumers and to address sources of systemic financial risk, Congress must maintain the flexibility to impose restrictions on harmful financial products and on the conduct or structure of financial firms. We would oppose including provisions in the TPP that would limit that flexibility.

So did Representatives Waters, Clay, Ellison, and Grijalva:

TTIP should also not replicate rules from past trade agreements that restrict the use of capital controls, which the International Monetary Fund and leading economists have endorsed as legitimate policy tools for preventing and mitigating financial crises. Nor should TTIP include provisions that could limit Congress’ prerogative to enact a financial transaction tax to curb speculation while generating revenue.

Similar warnings were recently issued by more than 50 of the largest civil society organizations concerned with financial stability on both sides of the Atlantic – including Americans for Financial Reform, which itself represents 250 organizations.  In a letter to Froman and other TAFTA negotiators in October, the groups wrote:

We believe it is highly inappropriate to include terms implicating financial regulation in an industry-dominated, non-transparent “trade” negotiation. Financial regulations do not belong in a framework that targets regulations as potential “barriers to trade.” Such a framework could chill or roll back post-crisis efforts to re-regulate finance on both sides of the Atlantic whereas further regulation of the sector is much needed.

While governments across the world strive to rein in risk-taking by the financial firms that brought us the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, U.S. trade negotiators (advised by many of those same firms) appear to be moving in the opposite direction.  We cannot afford to insert into binding “trade” pacts more deregulatory constraints pushed by Wall Street.  We cannot afford the TPP or TAFTA. 

The recent letter from civil society organizations made this clear:

We are only now implementing the lessons of the last financial crisis. Let us not lay the groundwork for the next one.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Nonprofits sue EPA for failure to regulate novel pesticide products created With nanotechnology

Subtitle:  Lawsuit will compel unlawfully delayed agency answer to groups’ 2008 legal petition demanding regulation Language:  English IATP author(s):  IATP Author(s) (external):  Center for Food Safety, International Center for Technology Assessment, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Environmental Health, Clean Production Action File:  Nano-silver petition lawsuit.pdf Washington, DC – Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit late yesterday against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the agency’s failure to regulate novel nanomaterial pesticides. In 2008 CFS filed a legal petition demanding the agency take action; today nonprofits...

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Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Should the World’s Largest Chemical Corporations Be Allowed to Attack States’ Chemical Safety Protections?

Eyes on Trade - 16 December, 2014 - 14:45

Patrick Gleeson, Trade and Policy Researcher of Global Trade Watch  

How would you feel about the U.S. government paying foreign corporations to keep cancer-causing chemicals out of your water bottles?

That is a risk we’d face under a sweeping U.S.-EU “trade” deal under negotiation – the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), also known as TTIP.  As proposed, TAFTA would empower thousands of European firms – including chemical giants like BASF, Bayer, and Royal Dutch Shell – to bypass U.S. courts, go before extrajudicial tribunals and demand taxpayer compensation for U.S. policies – including chemical regulations.  

We depend on such regulations every day to keep toxic chemicals out of our food, toys, rivers, and clothes.  This past July, more than 100 organizations on both sides of the Atlantic sent a letter to TAFTA negotiators to warn against TAFTA’s threats to such commonsense protections:

Stricter controls (including restrictions on some or all uses) of hazardous chemicals – including carcinogens and hormone disrupting chemicals – are vital to protecting public health…EU and U.S. trade policy should not be geared toward advancing the chemical industry’s agenda at the expense of public health and the environment – but that appears to be exactly what is currently underway with TTIP.

While U.S. federal chemical regulations are sorely outdated – with no major overhaul since the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – U.S. states have been filling in the gap, enacting forward-looking policies to protect us from chemicals that pose a threat to human health and the environment.  State chemical safety policies cover everything from mandatory disclosure of chemical compounds on the packaging of consumer goods to outright bans on specific chemical compounds and additives.  According to Safer States, 35 U.S. states have enacted 169 chemical safety policies, while 114 more such policies are pending in 29 states.  

But this web of state-level protections on which most U.S. consumers depend could come under attack if TAFTA were to expand the controversial system known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).  Six of the world’s 15 largest chemical firms are based in EU countries. The largest among them have facilities in many of the U.S. states that are currently contemplating new chemical restrictions.

Using TAFTA’s ISDS provisions, these foreign firms would be empowered to challenge U.S. state-level chemical protections with which U.S. firms must comply.  They could do so on the basis of sweeping rights available only to foreign investors, alleging, for example, that new chemical restrictions violated their rights by frustrating their expectations.  Such cases would be decided by tribunals unaccountable to any electorate, composed of three private lawyers authorized to order U.S. taxpayer compensation for “expected future profits” that the corporations claim they would have earned if not for the challenged chemical safety policies.

Recognizing the threat that ISDS poses to the autonomy of U.S. states to regulate in the public interest, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan association representing state legislatures, has repeatedly stated it will oppose any deal that includes ISDS.

“The unpopular proposal to include ISDS in TTIP would force the public and their representatives to decide between compensating corporate polluters for lost profits due to stronger laws, or continuing to bear the health, economic and social burdens of pollution,” stated the July 2014 letter from more than 100 organizations.

To launch ISDS attacks against U.S. states’ chemical safety measures under TAFTA, European chemical firms would just need to have an investment in the United States – a broad criterion that many of the largest firms easily fulfil.  

BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, is based in Germany but has 66 subsidiaries in the United States.  BASF has particularly large facilities in 20 states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and South Carolina.  Each of these states has considered new chemical safety legislation this year, the likes of which BASF would be empowered to challenge before extrajudicial tribunals under TAFTA. 

As a major supplier of chemicals to the U.S. market, BASF has already actively lobbied the U.S. Congress specifically to halt proposed restrictions on chemicals that it manufactures.  In 2014 alone, BASF has spent $2.3 million to lobby Congress on chemicals-related policies. TAFTA would give BASF a new tool to chill the development of U.S. chemical safety measures.

Other European chemical corporations have facilities scattered throughout the United States, manufacturing products ranging from synthetic fibers to rubber chemicals to pesticides.  Bayer, based in Germany, has subsidiaries in nine U.S. states, seven of which have been considering pending chemical safety legislation this year.  Royal Dutch Shell, headquartered in the Netherlands, has a U.S.-based chemical division that claims to make “approximately 20 billion pounds of chemicals annually, which are sold primarily to industrial markets in the United States.”  Shell’s U.S. chemicals division has facilities in Louisiana, which has been enacting new chemical safety measures. Were such new state-level regulations to be imposed on these corporations’ products out of concern for chemical safety, they would be empowered under TAFTA to demand taxpayer compensation.

Fifteen states, for example, are currently considering legislation related to a notorious chemical called bisphenol A, or BPA.  BPA has been identified as an endocrine disruptor, a class of chemicals that, according to the National Institutes of Health, “may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.” BPA is used extensively as a plastics coating and hardener in food and beverage containers, including water bottles and the lining of metal cans. BPA can seep into the foods and beverages it contains, leading to human consumption.  

Though usage of BPA in baby bottles, pacifiers, and other baby products was phased out in recent years due to broad consumer concerns and government reports of potentially harmful impacts on infants’ development, BPA is still widely used in other consumer products.  Recent studies have continued to indicate health concerns for adults, including a 2014 Duke Medicine study finding that BPA stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells and lowers the efficacy of cancer treatments.  Another study this year, from the University of Cincinnati, finds a link between BPA levels in men and prostate cancer.

According to the NCSL, 12 states and the District of Columbia have enacted BPA restrictions thus far, including, for example, bans on BPA in reusable food containers and thermoses. With 15 states considering additional BPA-related protections just this year, we are likely to see more states enact policies to limit consumers’ exposure to this toxin.  

The risk is real that such policies could become the target of ISDS attacks by European chemical firms under TAFTA.  Some of these firms, including ones with investments in the United States, have already been lobbying against BPA restrictions in Europe for years.  Bayer is even a member of an industry alliance known as the BPA Coalition, dedicated to convincing the public and policymakers “that the safe use of BPA poses no known health risk to people.”

Might such firms be interested in using TAFTA to demand U.S. taxpayer compensation for new efforts to keep our water bottles free of carcinogens?  Let’s not find out.  

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Entrevista a Javier Echaide. Tema: Tratados Bilaterales de Inversión

Blog de Javier Echaide - 13 December, 2014 - 12:47
Entrevista que me realizaran la semana pasada en la TV ecuatoriana -Canal CN Plus- sobre los TBI y la auditoría que se está realizando en Ecuador sobre este tema (12min).

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Congressional spending deal rewards Wall Street over Main Street

Subtitle:  Bailout guarantee blocks financial reform effort for fair, transparent markets Language:  English IATP author(s):  Andrew Ranallo Dr. Steve Suppan File:  2014_12_11_CongressionalSpending_PR.pdf Minneapolis – The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) today urged the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against a midnight amendment that would protect Wall Street’s riskiest trading by granting it Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) guarantees against losses. House Republicans placed the FDIC protection for Wall Street into the omnibus spending bill that must be passed by Congress in a scheduled Thursday vote to prevent another government...

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Categories: Planet Not For Sale

At Export Council, Obama Expected to Urge Corporate Interests to Help Him Obtain New Fast Track Powers to Expand the Status Quo U.S. Free Trade Pact Model That Congressional Democrats, Obama’s Base Oppose

Eyes on Trade - 11 December, 2014 - 16:07

At today’s meeting of the President’s Export Council, President Barack Obama is expected to urge yet another audience dominated by the corporate interests that opposed his election to help him obtain broad new Fast Track trade powers. Obama’s Fast Track request faces opposition by most Democratic members of Congress and base organizations as well as a bloc of conservative Republicans.

Obama also is likely to tout the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a pact that would expand the status quo U.S. trade agreement model that has led to staggering U.S. trade deficits, job loss and downward pressure on wages. When Obama picked up TPP negotiations from former President George W. Bush in 2009, consumer and environmental organizations, unions and congressional Democrats urged him to use the process to implement his 2008 election campaign promises to replace the old U.S. trade model based on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Instead, the administration has sided with the corporate interests that represent the majority of the approximately 600 official U.S. trade advisors and has replicated many of NAFTA’s most damaging provisions in the TPP.

“With the TPP, Obama is doubling down on the old, failed NAFTA trade pact status quo and even expanding on some of the NAFTA provisions that promoted American job offshoring, flooded us with unsafe imported food and increased medicine prices,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Given the TPP terms that would newly empower thousands of foreign firms to attack American health and environmental laws in foreign tribunals, incentivize even more U.S. job offshoring and ban the use of Buy American and Buy Local preferences, most Americans would be better off with no deal than what is in store with the TPP.”

Obama’s efforts to obtain Fast Track in the 113th Congress were rebuffed, as almost all House Democrats and a bloc of House GOP members indicated opposition.

Obama’s efforts to push more-of-the-same trade policies have been sidelined by the dismal outcomes of his 2011 U.S.-Korea FTA: The trade deficit with Korea in the first two years of the pact. In fact, the record shows that U.S. export growth with U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners lags behind the rate of export growth with non-FTA nations. In addition, the aggregate U.S. trade deficit with the group of 20 countries with which the U.S. has FTAs has increased more than fivefold since the FTAs took effect, due in part to a massive NAFTA trade deficit.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Outside of TPP Negotiations, Protestors Declare "No Fast Track Ever!"

Eyes on Trade - 9 December, 2014 - 19:35

As negotiators gather in Washington, D.C. this week for closed-door meetings on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), hundreds of activists from labor, environmental, consumer, human rights, public health, Internet freedom, faith and family farm activists joined concerned citizens to loudly make their voices heard outside of the secretive negotiations on Monday.  (Meanwhile, a select group of official trade “advisors,” largely representing corporations, enjoys unprecedented access to the TPP negotiators meeting behind closed doors).

The rallying cry from the activists, who gathered in front of the United States Trade Representative’s office, was loud and clear: "No Fast Track now, No Fast Track ever!  The TPP is a lost endeavor!"  

Fast Track was a controversial maneuver that allowed past presidents to railroad through Congress unpopular deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Corporations have called for Fast Track to be revived to empower the Obama administration to unilaterally negotiate and sign the TPP before Congress gets an expedited vote, with no amendments allowed and debate strictly limited.

Fast Track faces widespread opposition in the U.S. Congress and among the U.S. public.  Though a Fast Track bill was tabled about one year ago, it has gone nowhere due to massive opposition from most Democrats and a sizeable bloc of Republicans.  This past September, nearly 600 organizations sent a letter opposing Fast Track to Chair Ron Wyden.  A poll earlier this year found that 62 percent of U.S. voters oppose Fast Tracking the TPP.  

Civil society and lawmakers have good reason to reject corporations' push to Fast Track the TPP. Although it’s impossible to know the full scope of the secret deal, leaks have confirmed some of the worst speculations: the TPP would empower corporations to offshore jobs, increase the price of medicines, weaken environmental standards, and chill domestic interest laws by "suing" the government for public interest policies that frustrate their "expectations." 

Given the stakes, the energy of the rally was high.  Protestors circled the building carrying signs and chanting the death knell of Fast Track and TPP: “Fast Track is a sneak attack -- we’re taking our democracy back! Good paying jobs are what we need, but TPP spells corporate greed!"

If you weren't able to make it to the rally, you can still make your voice heard by writing to your member of Congress to urge them to voice their opposition to Fast Tracking the TPP.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

DECLARACIÓN sobre NAMA

Our World Is Not For Sale - 29 April, 2009 - 20:09
Currently accepting signatories:  Accept signatories AttachmentSize OWINFS_NAMA_final_es.zip7.76 KB

DECLARACIÓN sobre NAMA
Red Nuestro Mundo No Está en Venta (OWINFS)

¡No permitamos que la OMC destruya las industrias de los países en desarrollo y subaste nuestros recursos naturales!

Mucha gente sabe que la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC)
abre los mercados de los servicios y la agricultura con efectos
negativos para los agricultores, los servicios públicos y el
medioambiente en todo el mundo. Pero la OMC ahora quiere poner a la
venta el resto del planeta, a través de un nuevo acuerdo sobre Acceso a
los Mercados para los Productos No Agrícolas (conocido como NAMA por su
sigla en inglés) que se está negociando actualmente como parte de la
‘Ronda Doha’ de negociaciones comerciales, y mediante el cual los
gobiernos pretenden liberalizar todos los sectores restantes de la vida económica de nuestras sociedades.

El acuerdo NAMA contiene propuestas que restringirían severamente
la capacidad de los gobiernos para ejecutar políticas nacionales de
interés público y por el bien común, incluso políticas diseñadas para
apoyar a los productores de los países del Sur generalmente más débiles
y de menor porte. También podría obligar a los países que aplican los
aranceles más altos (es decir, la mayoría de los países en desarrollo)
a realizar los recortes más profundos y los mayores compromisos, aun
cuando eso podría debilitar a industrias y sectores económicos clave en
esos países. Si a esto se le suma el hecho que la OMC efectivamente
‘encierra’ sin salida a los países mediante estos acuerdos de libre
comercio, queda muy claro que el NAMA representa una amenaza muy grande
para los países que ya están bregando por desarrollar sus economías y
sortear la carga injusta e insostenible de la deuda externa.

Nosotros, las organizaciones abajo firmantes, estamos unidos en
oposición a este nuevo intento de abrir mercados para beneficio de las
empresas transnacionales y a costa de la pequeña y mediana industria y
productores, las economías y culturas locales y el medioambiente. Hay
que frenar las propuestas de NAMA y llevar a cabo estudios exhaustivos
sobre los potenciales efectos sociales, ambientales, sobre el empleo y
en materia de desarrollo y equidad de género.

Por eso exhortamos a los gobiernos a:

  • Detener las negociaciones sobre el NAMA y acordar al
    realización de una revisión exhaustiva e independiente acerca de los
    efectos potenciales del NAMA para el desarrollo económico, la
    diversificación productiva industrial de los países en desarrollo, el
    medioambiente y el bienestar social (incluidos empleo, salud y equidad
    de género);
  • Reconocer y garantizar el espacio político
    necesario y las flexibilidades con que deben contar los gobiernos,
    preservando su derecho a emplear herramientas políticas, incluso
    medidas comerciales cuyo fin sea generar economías justas y
    sustentables, proteger y promover el empleo, el bienestar social, la
    salud y el medioambiente al tiempo que se garantiza la participación de
    la ciudadanía;
  • Fomentar la conservación y el manejo
    sustentable de los recursos naturales incluso mediante la decisión de
    frenar la liberalización del comercio de bienes tales como los bosques,
    los peces, el petróleo, el gas, los metales y los minerales.  

Efectos del NAMA en la industria y el desempleo de los países en desarrollo

  • El recorte general y acelerado de los aranceles de
    importación y otras medidas propuestas en el marco del acuerdo sobre el
    NAMA amenazan con impedir la industrialización de los países en
    desarrollo, a los cuales no se les permitiría proteger a sus
    vulnerables industrias locales contra la competencia de  grandes
    empresas extranjeras transnacionales que pueden producir masivamente
    grandes cantidades de productos baratos (siendo que los países hoy
    industrializados emplearon frugalmente medidas de comercio cuando sus
    propias industrias nacionales necesitaban ese tipo de apoyo para
    desarrollarse).
  • El cierre  de industrias y pequeños
    talleres locales como consecuencia de la presión que suponen las
    importaciones a precios más bajos llevaría a incrementar el desempleo.
    La liberalización del comercio impuesta por el FMI-Banco Mundial 
    mediante sus programas de ajuste estructural ya tuvo efectos
    desastrosos para el empleo en África, Asia y algunos países de América
    Latina.
  • Combinada con la des-industrialización, la
    liberalización de los recursos naturales prevista por el NAMA (que
    incluiría la pesca, la minería y los bosques y la silvicultura) también
    podría empujar a los países a una mayor dependencia de la exportación
    de materias primas que generan relativamente pocas ganancias, en lugar
    de contribuir a la diversificación de sus economías.  Cualquier aumento
    del volumen de captura en la pesca sería especialmente dañino, ya que
    conduciría a índices crecientes de desempleo, pobreza y desnutrición
    para los miles de millones de personas que dependen de los recursos
    marinos para su alimentación y sustento.
  • Los países en
    desarrollo también se verían privados de los ingresos que hoy perciben
    por concepto de aranceles comerciales (impuestos aduaneros). Esto es de
    importancia capital, ya que muchos de esos gobiernos dependen en buena
    medida de esos ingresos para costear servicios sociales esenciales.
  • El acuerdo sobre el NAMA empujaría asimismo a los países en desarrollo
    a una situación en la que tendrían que importar más, al mismo tiempo
    que exportarían menos a consecuencia de la des-industrialización,
    generándoles así crecientes déficit comercial y un deterioro sostenido
    de su balanza externa de pagos.

Explotación creciente de recursos naturales

Las negociaciones sobre el NAMA representan una seria amenaza
general al medioambiente, y la mayoría de los países ignoran los
efectos ambientales y sociales adversos que supondría potencialmente la
liberalización del comercio en materias primas. Todos los
recursos naturales están incluidos en las negociaciones del NAMA –y
algunos sectores como la pesca y la minería de oro, de diamantes y
aluminio incluso están propuestos para su liberalización completa.

  • La liberalización creciente de las materias primas podría
    conllevar mayor explotación y comercio de recursos naturales escasos, y
    privar a los gobiernos de su capacidad para emplear medidas comerciales
    a fin de administrar sus reservas de manera sustentable y por el bien
    común.
  • El acuerdo sobre el NAMA podría restringir el uso
    de aranceles u otras herramientas comerciales en manos de los gobiernos
    para preservar los medios de sustento de millones de pescadores
    artesanales en todo el mundo y garantizar que los pueblos de los países
    en desarrollo puedan seguir contando con la pesca como fuente
    importante de proteínas.
  • Los gobiernos tendrían menos
    espacio para utilizar medidas comerciales con el fin de proteger
    poblaciones de peces en peligro de extinción. Al mismo tiempo, la
    liberalización del comercio podría fortalecer aún más a las industrias
    de procesamiento de pescado y acuicultura, sin tener en cuenta los
    impactos sobre los derechos humanos y la contaminación de los ambientes
    costeros.

Leyes nacionales y espacio para la formulación de políticas en riesgo

Muchos gobiernos están usando el acuerdo sobre el NAMA y otras
negociaciones en el seno de la OMC para atacar legítimas normas no
comerciales de protección del medioambiente, el bienestar social y la
salud en todas partes. Ellos sostienen que estas llamadas “barreras al
comercio” obstruyen de algún modo las exportaciones de las empresas
transnacionales. Hay leyes sobre alimentos y medicinas, pesca, madera y
petróleo, eficiencia energética, pruebas químicas, reciclaje y normas
de calidad de las industrias electrónica y automotriz que han sido
colocadas en la lista como parte de las negociaciones de NAMA,
aparentemente por orden directa de las empresas que seguramente se
beneficiarán con su eliminación. Este ataque concertado a las
reglamentaciones hace caso omiso de la necesidad de utilizar normas
legales para proteger y promover la salud y bienestar de la ciudadanía,
conservar los recursos naturales y frenar el cambio climático.

Conclusiones 

Las negociaciones sobre el NAMA se están llevando a un ritmo tan
veloz que impide la participación efectiva de los gobiernos con menos
recursos y personal, y más aún que estos realicen los estudios
necesarios sobre el impacto potencial de un nuevo acuerdo de NAMA en
sus economías, los trabajadores y el medioambiente. Aun cuando los
Países Menos Adelantados disponen de algunas exoneraciones limitadas en
la actual ronda de negociaciones, ellas no son suficientes para
garantizar su desarrollo futuro.

En realidad, lo que se pretende imponer ahora es exactamente
contrapuesto al acuerdo para el “desarrollo” que  le vendieron a los
países en desarrollo en la Conferencia Ministerial de la OMC en Doha en
2001. En esa reunión, a los países en desarrollo se les prometió que no
tendrían que ceder tanto como los países más ricos. Pero en las
negociaciones actuales sobre el NAMA se les está exigiendo realizar
mayores “ajustes” y adaptaciones que a los países altamente
industrializados, y tomar riesgos mucho mayores respecto de su
producción actual y sus perspectivas futuras de desarrollo. Los
ministros de comercio de los países del África, el Caribe y el Pacífico
(ACP) ya han expresado claramente que les “preocupa que las
propuestas contenidas en el texto de Derbez y su anexo sobre [los
textos de negociación de] el NAMA … profundizarán aún más la crisis de
la des-industrialización y acentuarán el desempleo y la crisis de la
pobreza en nuestros países
”. Sin embargo, a pesar de estas
declaraciones de evidente preocupación, sus puntos de vista han sido
descaradamente ignorados por los países industrializados y los
responsables de forzar el avance de estas propuestas extremas. No se
puede permitir que esta situación continúe.  Por eso exhortamos a los
gobiernos a:

  • Detener las negociaciones sobre el NAMA y acordar al
    realización de una revisión exhaustiva e independiente acerca de los
    efectos potenciales del NAMA para el desarrollo económico, la
    diversificación productiva industrial de los países en desarrollo, el
    medioambiente y el bienestar social (incluidos empleo, salud y equidad
    de género);
  • Reconocer y garantizar el espacio político
    necesario y las flexibilidades con que deben contar los gobiernos,
    preservando su derecho a emplear herramientas políticas, incluso
    medidas comerciales cuyo fin sea generar economías justas y
    sustentables, proteger y promover el empleo, el bienestar social, la
    salud y el medioambiente al tiempo que se garantiza la participación de
    la ciudadanía;
  • Fomentar la conservación y el manejo
    sustentable de los recursos naturales incluso mediante la decisión de
    frenar la liberalización del comercio de bienes tales como los bosques,
    los peces, el petróleo, el gas, los metales y los minerales.
Categories: Planet Not For Sale

DECLARACIÓN sobre NAMA

Our World Is Not For Sale - 29 April, 2009 - 20:06
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DECLARACIÓN sobre NAMA
Red Nuestro Mundo No Está en Venta (OWINFS)

¡No permitamos que la OMC destruya las industrias de los países en desarrollo y subaste nuestros recursos naturales!

Mucha gente sabe que la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC)
abre los mercados de los servicios y la agricultura con efectos
negativos para los agricultores, los servicios públicos y el
medioambiente en todo el mundo. Pero la OMC ahora quiere poner a la
venta el resto del planeta, a través de un nuevo acuerdo sobre Acceso a
los Mercados para los Productos No Agrícolas (conocido como NAMA por su
sigla en inglés) que se está negociando actualmente como parte de la
‘Ronda Doha’ de negociaciones comerciales, y mediante el cual los
gobiernos pretenden liberalizar todos los sectores restantes de la vida económica de nuestras sociedades.

El acuerdo NAMA contiene propuestas que restringirían severamente
la capacidad de los gobiernos para ejecutar políticas nacionales de
interés público y por el bien común, incluso políticas diseñadas para
apoyar a los productores de los países del Sur generalmente más débiles
y de menor porte. También podría obligar a los países que aplican los
aranceles más altos (es decir, la mayoría de los países en desarrollo)
a realizar los recortes más profundos y los mayores compromisos, aun
cuando eso podría debilitar a industrias y sectores económicos clave en
esos países. Si a esto se le suma el hecho que la OMC efectivamente
‘encierra’ sin salida a los países mediante estos acuerdos de libre
comercio, queda muy claro que el NAMA representa una amenaza muy grande
para los países que ya están bregando por desarrollar sus economías y
sortear la carga injusta e insostenible de la deuda externa.

Nosotros, las organizaciones abajo firmantes, estamos unidos en
oposición a este nuevo intento de abrir mercados para beneficio de las
empresas transnacionales y a costa de la pequeña y mediana industria y
productores, las economías y culturas locales y el medioambiente. Hay
que frenar las propuestas de NAMA y llevar a cabo estudios exhaustivos
sobre los potenciales efectos sociales, ambientales, sobre el empleo y
en materia de desarrollo y equidad de género.

Por eso exhortamos a los gobiernos a:

  • Detener las negociaciones sobre el NAMA y acordar al
    realización de una revisión exhaustiva e independiente acerca de los
    efectos potenciales del NAMA para el desarrollo económico, la
    diversificación productiva industrial de los países en desarrollo, el
    medioambiente y el bienestar social (incluidos empleo, salud y equidad
    de género);
  • Reconocer y garantizar el espacio político
    necesario y las flexibilidades con que deben contar los gobiernos,
    preservando su derecho a emplear herramientas políticas, incluso
    medidas comerciales cuyo fin sea generar economías justas y
    sustentables, proteger y promover el empleo, el bienestar social, la
    salud y el medioambiente al tiempo que se garantiza la participación de
    la ciudadanía;
  • Fomentar la conservación y el manejo
    sustentable de los recursos naturales incluso mediante la decisión de
    frenar la liberalización del comercio de bienes tales como los bosques,
    los peces, el petróleo, el gas, los metales y los minerales.  

Efectos del NAMA en la industria y el desempleo de los países en desarrollo

  • El recorte general y acelerado de los aranceles de
    importación y otras medidas propuestas en el marco del acuerdo sobre el
    NAMA amenazan con impedir la industrialización de los países en
    desarrollo, a los cuales no se les permitiría proteger a sus
    vulnerables industrias locales contra la competencia de  grandes
    empresas extranjeras transnacionales que pueden producir masivamente
    grandes cantidades de productos baratos (siendo que los países hoy
    industrializados emplearon frugalmente medidas de comercio cuando sus
    propias industrias nacionales necesitaban ese tipo de apoyo para
    desarrollarse).
  • El cierre  de industrias y pequeños
    talleres locales como consecuencia de la presión que suponen las
    importaciones a precios más bajos llevaría a incrementar el desempleo.
    La liberalización del comercio impuesta por el FMI-Banco Mundial 
    mediante sus programas de ajuste estructural ya tuvo efectos
    desastrosos para el empleo en África, Asia y algunos países de América
    Latina.
  • Combinada con la des-industrialización, la
    liberalización de los recursos naturales prevista por el NAMA (que
    incluiría la pesca, la minería y los bosques y la silvicultura) también
    podría empujar a los países a una mayor dependencia de la exportación
    de materias primas que generan relativamente pocas ganancias, en lugar
    de contribuir a la diversificación de sus economías.  Cualquier aumento
    del volumen de captura en la pesca sería especialmente dañino, ya que
    conduciría a índices crecientes de desempleo, pobreza y desnutrición
    para los miles de millones de personas que dependen de los recursos
    marinos para su alimentación y sustento.
  • Los países en
    desarrollo también se verían privados de los ingresos que hoy perciben
    por concepto de aranceles comerciales (impuestos aduaneros). Esto es de
    importancia capital, ya que muchos de esos gobiernos dependen en buena
    medida de esos ingresos para costear servicios sociales esenciales.
  • El acuerdo sobre el NAMA empujaría asimismo a los países en desarrollo
    a una situación en la que tendrían que importar más, al mismo tiempo
    que exportarían menos a consecuencia de la des-industrialización,
    generándoles así crecientes déficit comercial y un deterioro sostenido
    de su balanza externa de pagos.

Explotación creciente de recursos naturales

Las negociaciones sobre el NAMA representan una seria amenaza
general al medioambiente, y la mayoría de los países ignoran los
efectos ambientales y sociales adversos que supondría potencialmente la
liberalización del comercio en materias primas. Todos los
recursos naturales están incluidos en las negociaciones del NAMA –y
algunos sectores como la pesca y la minería de oro, de diamantes y
aluminio incluso están propuestos para su liberalización completa.

  • La liberalización creciente de las materias primas podría
    conllevar mayor explotación y comercio de recursos naturales escasos, y
    privar a los gobiernos de su capacidad para emplear medidas comerciales
    a fin de administrar sus reservas de manera sustentable y por el bien
    común.
  • El acuerdo sobre el NAMA podría restringir el uso
    de aranceles u otras herramientas comerciales en manos de los gobiernos
    para preservar los medios de sustento de millones de pescadores
    artesanales en todo el mundo y garantizar que los pueblos de los países
    en desarrollo puedan seguir contando con la pesca como fuente
    importante de proteínas.
  • Los gobiernos tendrían menos
    espacio para utilizar medidas comerciales con el fin de proteger
    poblaciones de peces en peligro de extinción. Al mismo tiempo, la
    liberalización del comercio podría fortalecer aún más a las industrias
    de procesamiento de pescado y acuicultura, sin tener en cuenta los
    impactos sobre los derechos humanos y la contaminación de los ambientes
    costeros.

Leyes nacionales y espacio para la formulación de políticas en riesgo

Muchos gobiernos están usando el acuerdo sobre el NAMA y otras
negociaciones en el seno de la OMC para atacar legítimas normas no
comerciales de protección del medioambiente, el bienestar social y la
salud en todas partes. Ellos sostienen que estas llamadas “barreras al
comercio” obstruyen de algún modo las exportaciones de las empresas
transnacionales. Hay leyes sobre alimentos y medicinas, pesca, madera y
petróleo, eficiencia energética, pruebas químicas, reciclaje y normas
de calidad de las industrias electrónica y automotriz que han sido
colocadas en la lista como parte de las negociaciones de NAMA,
aparentemente por orden directa de las empresas que seguramente se
beneficiarán con su eliminación. Este ataque concertado a las
reglamentaciones hace caso omiso de la necesidad de utilizar normas
legales para proteger y promover la salud y bienestar de la ciudadanía,
conservar los recursos naturales y frenar el cambio climático.

Conclusiones 

Las negociaciones sobre el NAMA se están llevando a un ritmo tan
veloz que impide la participación efectiva de los gobiernos con menos
recursos y personal, y más aún que estos realicen los estudios
necesarios sobre el impacto potencial de un nuevo acuerdo de NAMA en
sus economías, los trabajadores y el medioambiente. Aun cuando los
Países Menos Adelantados disponen de algunas exoneraciones limitadas en
la actual ronda de negociaciones, ellas no son suficientes para
garantizar su desarrollo futuro.

En realidad, lo que se pretende imponer ahora es exactamente
contrapuesto al acuerdo para el “desarrollo” que  le vendieron a los
países en desarrollo en la Conferencia Ministerial de la OMC en Doha en
2001. En esa reunión, a los países en desarrollo se les prometió que no
tendrían que ceder tanto como los países más ricos. Pero en las
negociaciones actuales sobre el NAMA se les está exigiendo realizar
mayores “ajustes” y adaptaciones que a los países altamente
industrializados, y tomar riesgos mucho mayores respecto de su
producción actual y sus perspectivas futuras de desarrollo. Los
ministros de comercio de los países del África, el Caribe y el Pacífico
(ACP) ya han expresado claramente que les “preocupa que las
propuestas contenidas en el texto de Derbez y su anexo sobre [los
textos de negociación de] el NAMA … profundizarán aún más la crisis de
la des-industrialización y acentuarán el desempleo y la crisis de la
pobreza en nuestros países
”. Sin embargo, a pesar de estas
declaraciones de evidente preocupación, sus puntos de vista han sido
descaradamente ignorados por los países industrializados y los
responsables de forzar el avance de estas propuestas extremas. No se
puede permitir que esta situación continúe.  Por eso exhortamos a los
gobiernos a:

  • Detener las negociaciones sobre el NAMA y acordar al
    realización de una revisión exhaustiva e independiente acerca de los
    efectos potenciales del NAMA para el desarrollo económico, la
    diversificación productiva industrial de los países en desarrollo, el
    medioambiente y el bienestar social (incluidos empleo, salud y equidad
    de género);
  • Reconocer y garantizar el espacio político
    necesario y las flexibilidades con que deben contar los gobiernos,
    preservando su derecho a emplear herramientas políticas, incluso
    medidas comerciales cuyo fin sea generar economías justas y
    sustentables, proteger y promover el empleo, el bienestar social, la
    salud y el medioambiente al tiempo que se garantiza la participación de
    la ciudadanía;
  • Fomentar la conservación y el manejo
    sustentable de los recursos naturales incluso mediante la decisión de
    frenar la liberalización del comercio de bienes tales como los bosques,
    los peces, el petróleo, el gas, los metales y los minerales.
Categories: Planet Not For Sale

OWINFS NAMA Statement

Our World Is Not For Sale - 29 April, 2009 - 20:03
Currently accepting signatories:  Accept signatories AttachmentSize OWINFS_NAMA_final_en.zip6.96 KB

Stop the WTO destroying developing country industries and selling off our natural resources!

Many people have heard about the WTO opening up markets in services and
agriculture, with negative impacts on farmers, public services and the
environment world-wide. But now the rest of the world is also up for
sale at the World Trade Organization (WTO), as governments plan to
liberalise all
remaining sectors through a new agreement, known as the
Non-Agricultural Market Access or NAMA agreement, which is being
negotiated as part of the ‘Doha’ round of trade negotiations. 

NAMA contains proposals that would severely curtail governments’
ability to implement domestic policies in the public interest,
including policies designed to support smaller and weaker producers in
the countries of the South. It would also see those countries with the
highest tariffs (that is, the great majority of developing countries)
making the largest cuts and greatest commitments, even though this
could weaken key industries and sectors in those countries. Add to this
the fact that the WTO effectively ‘locks’ countries into these trade
agreements and it is clear that NAMA poses a major threat to those
countries already struggling to develop their economies and deal with
unsustainable and unjust external debt burdens.

We, the undersigned organisations, are united in our opposition to this
new attempt to lever open markets for the benefit of transnational
corporations at the expense of smaller companies and producers, local
economies, cultures and the environment. The NAMA proposals must be
halted and a comprehensive review undertaken of NAMA’s potential
social, developmental, environmental, employment and gender impacts. 

We therefore call on governments to:

  • Halt the NAMA negotiations and agree to a full and independent review
    of NAMA’s potential impacts on economic development, industrial
    diversification in developing countries, the environment and social
    welfare (including employment, health and gender balance);
  • Recognise and guarantee governments’ domestic policy space and
    flexibilities, preserving their right to use policy tools including
    trade measures, that develop fair and sustainable economies, protect
    and promote employment, social welfare, health and the environment and
    guarantee public participation.
  • Promote resource conservation and the sustainable management of natural
    resources including by stopping the further liberalisation of trade in
    natural resources such as forests, fish, oils, gas, metals and
    minerals.

The effects of NAMA on developing country industries and unemployment

  • The rapid and comprehensive reduction in import tariffs and other trade
    measures proposed in NAMA threatens to undercut developing countries’
    ability to industrialise. They would not be able to protect vulnerable
    local businesses from large and well-established overseas corporations
    that are able to mass-produce large quantities of cheap products (trade
    measures were used extensively by industrialised countries when their
    own domestic industries needed such support in order to develop).
  • The closure of local industries and small workshops under pressure from
    cheaper imports would lead to increased unemployment. Trade
    liberalisation has already had disastrous impacts on employment in
    countries in Africa and Asia, under IMF-World Bank structural
    adjustment programs, and in some Latin American countries.
  • Deindustrialization combined with the proposed liberalization of
    natural resources under NAMA (which is planned to include fisheries,
    forestry and mineral resources) could also push countries into
    increasing dependence on commodity exports that generate relatively
    small returns, rather than diversifying their economies.Any
    further pressure on fisheries would be particularly damaging, leading
    to increasing rates of unemployment, poverty and malnutrition for the
    many millions dependent on the world’s marine resources for their
    livelihoods and food.
  • Developing countries would also lose the income they currently receive
    from trade tariffs (customs duties). This is critical, since many such
    governments depend heavily on such revenues to sustain essential social
    services.   
  • NAMA would also push developing countries into a situation in which
    they import more, yet export less as a result of de-industrialization,
    creating growing trade deficits and  deteriorating external balance of
    payments for developing countries.

Increased exploitation of natural resources

The NAMA negotiations pose a broad and significant threat to the
environment with most countries ignoring the potential environmental
and social impacts of liberalising trade in raw materials. All
natural resources are included in the NAMA negotiations and sectors
such as fish, gold, diamonds and primary aluminium have even been
proposed for complete liberalisation.

  • Increased liberalisation in raw materials sectors could lead to
    increased exploitation of and trade in scarce natural resources and
    remove governments’ ability to use trade measures to manage stocks
    sustainably and for the common good.
  • A NAMA deal could limit governments’ use of tariff and other trade
    measures to preserve the livelihoods of millions of fisherfolk around
    the world and ensure that people in developing countries can still rely
    on fish as a key source of protein.
  • There would be less scope for governments to use trade measures to
    protect endangered fish populations. At the same time, trade
    liberalisation could further strengthen industries engaged in fish
    processing and aquaculture, with little regard for their impacts on
    human rights and the pollution of coastal environments.

Threats to national laws and policy space

Many governments are using NAMA and other WTO negotiations to target
legitimate non-commercial laws around the world which protect the
environment, social well-being and health. They argue that these
so-called “barriers to trade” obstruct transnational companies’ exports
in one way or another. Laws covering food and medicines, fisheries,
timber and petroleum, energy efficiency, chemical testing, recycling
and standards in the electronics and automobile industries have all
been listed as part of the NAMA negotiations, seemingly at the direct
behest of those corporations likely to benefit from their removal. This
concerted attack on regulation ignores the need to use regulations to
protect and promote the health and well-being of citizens, conserve
natural resources and stop climate change.

Conclusion

The NAMA negotiations are taking place at a speed that prevents less
well-resourced governments from participating properly in the
negotiations, let alone conducting assessments of the potential impact
of a new NAMA agreement on their economies, workers and environment.
Although the Least Developed Countries have some limited exemptions in
this round of negotiations, this is not enough to safeguard their
future development.

In fact, what is being pushed
is the exact opposite of the “development” deal sold to developing
countries at the WTO’s Doha Ministerial in 2001. At that meeting
developing countries were promised that they would not have to offer up
as much as the richer countries. But in NAMA they are now being
required to make greater "adjustments" than the highly industrialised
countries and take far greater risks with their current production and
future development prospects. Trade ministers of the Africa, Caribbean
and Pacific (ACP) Countries have already clearly stated that they are “concerned
that the proposals contained in the Derbez text and its annex on NAMA
[negotiating texts] … would further deepen the crisis of
de-industrialisation and accentuate the unemployment and poverty crisis
in our countries”.
However, despite this unambiguous expression
of concern, their views have been blatantly ignored by industrialised
countries and those responsible for driving these radical proposals
forward. This situation cannot be allowed to continue. We therefore
call on governments to:

  • Halt
    the NAMA negotiations and agree to a full and independent review of
    NAMA’s potential impacts on economic development, industrial
    diversification in developing countries, the environment and social
    welfare (including employment, health and gender balance);
  • Recognise and guarantee governments’ domestic policy space and
    flexibilities, preserving their right to use policy tools including
    trade measures, that develop fair and sustainable economies, protect
    and promote employment, social welfare, health and the environment and
    guarantee public participation.
  • Promote resource conservation and the sustainable management of natural
    resources including by stopping the further liberalisation of trade in
    natural resources such as forests, fish, oils, gas, metals and
    minerals.
Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Un documento di Unità della OUR WORLD IS NOT FOR SALE Network

Our World Is Not For Sale - 29 April, 2009 - 19:54
Currently accepting signatories:  Accept signatories

FERMIAMO LA GLOBALIZZAZIONE DELLE MULTINAZIONALI

UN ALTRO MONDO E’ POSSIBILE!

Un documento di Unità della

OUR WORLD IS NOT FOR SALE Network

Rete Il Nostro Mondo Non E’ In Vendita

La nostra Visione, i Principi ed il Programma

INTRODUZIONE: LA NOSTRA SFIDA

“Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS)” è una rete globale di
organizzazioni, attivisti e movimenti sociali impegnati a sfidare gli
accordi commerciali e sugli investimenti che favoriscono gli interessi
delle più potenti imprese multinazionali, a danno delle popolazioni e
dell’ambiente.

A questo processo di globalizzazione guidato dalle
multinazionali, opponiamo la visione di un’economia globale costruita
sui principi della giustizia economica, della sostenibilità ecologica e
della responsabilità democratica, che anteponga gli interessi dei
popoli a quelli delle imprese. Un’economia costruita intorno agli
interessi dei veri produttori e consumatori, quali i lavoratori, i
contadini, le famiglie di agricoltori, i pescatori, i piccoli e medi
produttori, ed intorno ai bisogni di chi è messo a margine dall’attuale
sistema, come le donne ed i popoli indigeni.

Crediamo che un sistema giusto debba proteggere, e non
compromettere, le diversità culturali, biologiche, economiche e
sociali; mettere l’enfasi sullo sviluppo di economie e sistemi
commerciali sani a livello locale; assicurare i diritti ambientali,
culturali, sociali e del lavoro riconosciuti a livello internazionale;
sostenere la sovranità e l’autodeterminazione dei popoli; e proteggere
i processi decisionali democratici a livello nazionale e locale.

La democrazia non si riduce semplicemente nell’organizzare
elezioni. Esiste  democrazia quando non si è l’ultimo anello di una
catena che riceve passivamente un processo calato dall’alto, un sistema
di valori standardizzato, delle priorità e delle politiche che vengono
imposte grazie ad organismi multilaterali quali l’Organizzazione
Mondiale del Commercio (OMC – Wto). Esiste democrazia quando non si è
soggetti a processi decisionali non trasparenti e non condivisi, quali
quelli che caratterizzano l’Organo di Risoluzione delle Dispute della
Wto. Esiste democrazia  quando le persone hanno il controllo delle
forze che hanno impatti diretti sulle loro vite.

Quando fu creata la Wto, nel 1995, il suo preambolo sosteneva
che lo scopo dell’organizzazione era quello di portare maggiore
prosperità, aumentare l’occupazione, ridurre la povertà, diminuire le
disuguaglianze e promuovere lo sviluppo sostenibile nel mondo mediante
un maggiore “libero commercio”. A dieci anni di distanza è chiaro che
la Wto non ha raggiunto questi obiettivi ed ha avuto risultati
esattamente opposti.

Il regime commerciale della Wto ha ostacolato misure che
avrebbero promosso lo sviluppo, alleviato la povertà ed aiutato la
sopravvivenza degli esseri umani e dell’ambiente naturale, tanto a
livello locale quanto globale. Sotto la dicitura di “libero commercio”,
le regole della Wto sono state utilizzate per forzare l’apertura di
nuovi mercati e per portarli sotto il controllo delle imprese
multinazionali.

I grandi poteri commerciali hanno inoltre utilizzato la Wto per
incrementare e consolidare il controllo delle imprese multinazionali
sull’economia e sulle attività sociali in aree ben al di là di quelle
commerciali, come ad esempio in materia di sviluppo, investimenti,
concorrenza, diritti di proprietà intellettuale, nella fornitura dei
servizi essenziali, nella protezione dell’ambiente e negli appalti
pubblici.

Liberalizzazioni su larga scala in queste aree costringeranno i
paesi in via di sviluppo a rinunciare a molti degli strumenti economici
per lo sviluppo che i paesi industrializzati hanno utilizzato per
creare le loro economie e posti di lavoro. Gli accordi già approvati
nella Wto, inoltre, insieme a quelli attualmente in discussione,
porterebbero di fatto a “mettere sotto chiave“ e rendere irreversibili
i programmi di aggiustamento strutturale della Banca Mondiale e del
Fondo Monetario Internazionale.

Nel portare avanti gli interessi dei grandi poteri commerciali, inoltre, i metodi digovernancee
decisionali utilizzati nella Wto fanno notoriamente affidamento sulle
minacce, l’inganno, la manipolazione e la mancanza di trasparenza, in
maniera non democratica e secondo un processo non inclusivo.

Sono le conseguenze distruttive dal punto di vista sociale,
politico e ambientale del modello neoliberista di globalizzazione delle
imprese ad avere favorito il sorgere della resistenza da parte di un
ampio spettro di organizzazioni della società civile e di movimenti
sociali in tutto il mondo, come si è manifestato ai summit della Wto a
Seattle, Doha, Cancun ed Hong Kong.

La rete Our World Is Not For Sale è parte di questo movimento di resistenza globale.

Dieci anni dopo la fondazione della Wto, per noi è diventato
chiaro che le possibilità che la Wto si muova in direzione di riforme
positive sono minime, se non del tutto assenti. Un cambiamento è
assolutamente necessario. Al momento abbiamo un sistema in cui:

  • le vite sono distrutte, i diritti umani ignorati,
    la salute pubblica minacciata, l’ambiente saccheggiato ed i sistemi
    democratici vengono erosi;

  • le economie
    locali sono minacciate, ed i lavoratori, i contadini, le famiglie di
    agricoltori, i pescatori, i consumatori, le donne ed i popoli indigeni
    sono particolarmente svantaggiati e sfruttati;

  • la
    possibilità per i governi di garantire l’accesso agli aspetti
    essenziali della vita, promuovere la salute, la sicurezza e la
    sovranità alimentare, e proteggere la diversità culturale e biologica è
    compromessa e talvolta eliminata.

In tutto il mondo, gli effetti negativi dell’attuale sistema
economico globale stanno spingendo i movimenti democratici – che
agiscono tramite le urne e nelle strade – a chiedere un cambiamento. I
politici eletti in molti paesi hanno perso la speranza nell’attuale
sistema digovernanceeconomica globale. Un numero sempre
crescente di economisti e tecnocrati che hanno creato ed adottato
questo sistema stanno iniziando a porsi delle domande, in quanto i
risultati provano l’opposto di quanto promesso. Tutto questo si sta
manifestando nel contesto di una crescente disuguaglianza, sia tra le
nazioni, sia al loro interno, e con un risorgere del militarismo.

E’ necessario resistere ai tentativi della Wto di imporre una
liberalizzazione del commercio mondiale che colpisce la giustizia
economica, il benessere sociale, l’equità tra i generi e la
sostenibilità ecologica. Il potere e l’autorità della Wto devono essere
ridimensionati in molte materie nelle quali l’istituzione si è imposta,
quali ad esempio l’agricoltura, i servizi ed i diritti di proprietà
intellettuale.

Contemporaneamente dobbiamo ideare nuove istituzioni per
facilitare il commercio, la produzione e la distribuzione dei beni
comuni, se vogliamo evitare la crescente prospettiva di una catastrofe
sociale ed ecologica.

L’attuale regime commerciale, che include la Wto così come gli
accordi commerciali bilaterali e regionali e quelli sugli investimenti,
deve permettere un nuovo quadro commerciale per il XXI secolo
socialmente giusto ed ecologicamente sostenibile.

I NOSTRI OBIETTIVI

Sin dal 1998, i membri della rete OWINFS si sono confrontati per
condividere analisi, sviluppare strategie e coordinare azioni a livello
internazionale, in modo da promuovere lo sviluppo di un’economia
alternativa, giusta e sostenibile.

Siamo impegnati per sviluppare un nuovo sistema commerciale
democraticamente responsabile che faccia avanzare un’economia di
giustizia, il benessere sociale, l’equità di genere e la sostenibilità
ecologica, e che garantisca posti di lavoro dignitosi ed i beni e i
servizi necessari per tutti gli esseri umani.

Sosteniamo lo sviluppo di economie locali floride ed i diritti
dei lavoratori, contadini, migranti, famiglie di agricoltori,
consumatori, donne e popoli indigeni. Crediamo che l’autodeterminazione
dei popoli non debba essere subordinata ad impegni commerciali
internazionali. Tra le altre cose, questo significa che il processo
decisionale e l’applicazione ad ogni livello dellagovernancedebbano essere democratici, trasparenti ed inclusivi.

Riconosciamo che un sistema commerciale internazionale giusto
debba dare la priorità ai diritti ed al welfare dei lavoratori,
contadini, migranti, pescatori, e famiglie di agricoltori che producono
i nostri prodotti, servizi e cibi.

Chiediamo ai governi ed alle agenzie multilaterali di arrestare
i loro attacchi ai diritti fondamentali dei lavoratori, l’arretramento
delle conquiste ottenute dalle lotte dei lavoratori, il compromettere
la sicurezza del lavoro e la corsa verso il basso dei salari, e di
rafforzare in tutto il mondo i diritti dei lavoratori.

Ci opponiamo ad accordi e negoziati di liberalizzazione del
commercio che contribuiscono a togliere l’accesso alle risorse naturali
a quelle popolazioni indigene e comunità locali che da queste dipendono
per la propria sopravvivenza, e che invece danno questo accesso alle
imprese.

Altri diritti umani fondamentali devono essere rispettati,
promossi e realizzati, a partire dall’autodeterminazione dei popoli
indigeni e dalla fornitura dei bisogni e servizi sociali essenziali,
comprese l’educazione, la sicurezza e la sovranità alimentari,
l’accesso universale ad acqua pulita per uso umano e la salute
pubblica.

Allo stesso modo, l’integrità ecologica deve essere un
obiettivo di un mutato sistema commerciale globale. Questo significa,
tra le altre cose, che il commercio delle imprese e gli investimenti
devono essere regolati per arrestare il surriscaldamento globale; gli
accordi ambientali multilaterali devono avere la precedenza su quelli
commerciali; gli standard ambientali non devono essere ridotti a causa
di accordi commerciali; ed il diritto delle persone a rifiutare
organismi geneticamente modificati, di preservare la crescita delle
foreste secolari e la diversità delle sementi dei contadini e la
promozione del benessere degli animali deve essere rispettata.

LE NOSTRE RICHIESTE

Assicurare il diritto di scegliere delle persone: autodeterminazione, democrazia e sviluppo

Ribadiamo ildiritto fondamentale dei paesi di sviluppare
politiche economiche ed industriali che promuovano uno sviluppo
economico genuino, creino posti di lavoro dignitosi e proteggano la
sopravvivenza, e tutelino l’ambiente
. Tutti i paesi, ed in
particolare i più poveri, devono avere il diritto di utilizzare opzioni
politiche (come politiche di contenuto locale) per incrementare la
capacità dei loro propri settori produttivi, in particolare per le
piccole e medie imprese. I paesi devono anche tutelare la loro
possibilità (spazio politico) di disegnare strategie economiche,
sociali ed ambientali che favoriscano i loro abitanti più vulnerabili.
La ricerca della “coerenza” tra le istituzioni internazionali è
diventata un mezzo per negare questo spazio politico: il Fondo
Monetario Internazionale, la Banca Mondiale ed alcuni singoli paesi
donatori forzano i governi ad implementare politiche neoliberiste, e la
Wto e gli altri accordi commerciali e sugli investimenti rendono
praticamente irreversibili queste politiche.
Di conseguenza:

  • Our World Is Not For Sale chiede la fine delle
    pratiche segrete e coercitive che sono diventate il marchio di fabbrica
    dei negoziati commerciali, in particolare nella Wto, dove pochi governi
    più potenti, spesso agendo per conto delle loro elite imprenditoriali,
    sono capaci di forzare i governi più deboli per raggiungere i loro
    obiettivi.

  • Lo smantellamento delle tariffe
    e delle altre misure commerciali non deve consentire di mettere le
    economie locali, ed in particolare quelle dei paesi più poveri e/o di
    settori economici più poveri, in balia delle imprese multinazionali, e
    di minacciare lo sviluppo economico locale, le leggi e gli standard sul
    lavoro, la salute e la sicurezza del pubblico e dei consumatori, e
    l’ambiente.

  • I negoziati sul “libero
    commercio” nella Wto ed altrove non possono continuare ad essere
    utilizzati come un Cavallo di Troia per assicurare regole favorevoli
    alle imprese in materia di investimenti, concorrenza, appalti pubblici,
    accesso al mercato, produzione agricola, regolamentazioni locali sui
    servizi pubblici ed i diritti di proprietà intellettuale. Allo stesso
    modo non possono proseguire le attuali dinamiche di potere, nelle quali
    i ricchi paesi industrializzati impongono la loro agenda economica a
    scapito dei paesi più poveri.

  • L’utilizzo
    di aggiustamenti strutturali e del consolidamento del debito per
    forzare la liberalizzazione del commercio nei paesi del terzo mondo
    deve essere arrestata. Il Fondo Monetario Internazionale, la Banca
    Mondiale e le banche di sviluppo regionali devono cancellare tutti i
    debiti a loro dovuti da parte dei paesi in via di sviluppo ed in
    transizione in modo che questi paesi possano allocare questi fondi per
    soddisfare i bisogni urgenti della popolazione.

Promuovere il primato dei diritti sociali e dell’ambiente

Crediamo che la protezione e l’avanzamento dei diritti sociali,
il soddisfacimento dei bisogni basilari, e la protezione del nostro
ambiente siano essenziali alla vita. E’ inaccettabile che queste siano
compromesse dalla Wto ed altre regole degli accordi “commerciali”.
Di conseguenza:

  • nessun accordo commerciale o sugli investimenti
    deve avere la precedenza, o compromettere, gli accordi internazionali
    che promuovono la giustizia sociale, economica ed ambientale, tra i
    quali alcuni sono

  •  
    • la dichiarazione dell’Organizzazione
      Internazionale del Lavoro (OIL) sui principi e sui diritti fondamentali
      del lavoro (che include i quattro core labour standard);
    • la
      Convenzione sulla biodiversità ed il suo protocollo attuativo sulla
      bio-sicurezza, e gli altri accordi multilaterali sull’ambiente;
    • la
      Dichiarazione sui diritti dell’uomo delle Nazioni Unite e le sue
      convenzioni associate, la Convenzione internazionale sui diritti
      economici, sociali e culturali e la Convenzione internazionale sui
      diritti civili e politici;
    • la prossima Dichiarazione delle Nazioni Unite sui diritti dei popoli indigeni;
    • la Convenzione per l’eliminazione di tutte le forme di discriminazione contro le donne (CEDAW); e
    • La Convezione internazionale sulla protezione dei diritti di tutti i lavoratori migranti e dei membri delle loro famiglie.
  • governi devono conservare il diritto sovrano di
    determinare come regolare i servizi in modo da soddisfare i bisogni
    della popolazione, l’economia e la società, ed onorare i loro altri
    obblighi internazionali e costituzionali, compresi quelli verso le
    donne, i popoli indigeni, i giovani, gli anziani ed i poveri.

  • Il
    diritto dei governi ad applicare il principio precauzionale per
    proteggere la salute pubblica, l’ambiente, e l’agricoltura da rischi
    sconosciuti deve avere la precedenza su qualunque accordo e clausola
    commerciale.

  • La riduzione delle tariffe
    che danneggiano l’ambiente o lo sviluppo sostenibile aumentando un
    commercio inappropriato delle risorse naturali e di altri prodotti
    ambientalmente sensibili non dovrebbe essere attuata.

  • L’indebolimento
    delle Nazioni Unite da parte delle istituzioni pro-multinazionali di
    Bretton Woods, della Wto, e dei grandi poteri deve essere arrestata, ed
    il sistema di agenzie ed accordi delle Nazioni Unite deve essere
    rafforzato.

Proteggere i servizi essenziali

Sottoscriviamo il principio fondamentale secondo cui nessun
accordo commerciale o sugli investimenti dovrebbe violare il diritto
dei governi a garantire l’accesso ad aspetti essenziali alla vita, a
promuovere la salute ed il benessere dei loro abitanti, e la protezione
dell’ambiente.
Di conseguenza:

  • i paesi non dovrebbero subire pressioni per
    accettare regole commerciali che diminuiscono questa loro abilità, sia
    tramite l’Accordo Generale sul Commercio dei Servizi (GATS) della Wto,
    sia negli accordi bilaterali e regionali.

  • I
    settori direttamente legati a quelli essenziali, quali la salute,
    l’educazione, la cultura audiovisiva, l’assistenza sociale, i servizi
    idrici ed energetici devono essere esplicitamente esclusi da tutti gli
    accordi commerciali e sugli investimenti.

  • Le
    regole riguardanti i regolamenti domestici, i sussidi e gli appalti
    pubblici in materia di servizi per la loro stessa natura impattano su
    questa abilità e non dovrebbero pertanto essere inclusi in accordi
    commerciali o sugli investimenti.

I paesi stanno subendo enormi pressioni per sottomettere i loro
servizi essenziali alle regole del GATS, che hanno l’effetto di
promuovere le privatizzazioni. Quando, inoltre, gli impegni presi in
questo negoziato sono adottati da paesi che sono o sono stati soggetti
a deregolamentazioni e privatizzazioni dei loro servizi essenziali
tramite le richieste di “aggiustamento strutturale”, le regole del GATS
servono per rendere queste privatizzazioni praticamente irreversibili.
In questa maniera il GATS promuove l’apertura dei mercati locali alle
imprese multinazionali e l’avanzamento del modello neoliberista.
Di conseguenza:

  • Queste richieste di “aggiustamento strutturale” debbono
    essere respinte, non rese irreversibili, e non devono essere una
    condizione per i paesi che ricevono nuovi prestiti o aiuti, così come i
    paesi non dovrebbero essere messi sotto pressione per sottomettere i
    loro servizi essenziali alle regole del GATS.

Difendere i saperi, la cultura e le forme di vita come l’essenza di una civiltà

Consideriamo i saperi, la cultura e l’educazione come le forze
che muovono la civiltà. Queste forze non possono essere ridotte a
prodotti commerciabili o proprietà privata.

Non c’è alcuna base per includere queste affermazioni sulla
proprietà intellettuale in un accordo commerciale. Tutte le nazioni,
inoltre, hanno la responsabilità e l’obbligo di proteggere la salute
pubblica ed il benessere delle loro popolazioni. Le attuali regole
sulla proprietà intellettuali in accordi commerciali, quali l’accordo
sugli aspetti commerciali dei diritti di proprietà intellettuale
(TRIPs) della Wto, impediscono l’accesso delle persone ai farmaci
essenziali, alle sementi ed alle necessità vitali, mentre portano
all’appropriazioni dei privati sulle forme di vita ed i saperi
tradizionali e la distruzione della biodiversità. Impediscono inoltre
ai paesi più poveri di migliorare i propri livelli di welfare economico
e sociale e di difendere le loro identità e tradizioni uniche.
Di conseguenza:

  • i governi devono conservare il loro
    imprescindibile diritto a limitare la protezioni dei brevetti in modo
    da proteggere gli interessi pubblici in queste aree, in particolare
    riguardo le medicine, le sementi e le forme di vita.

  • La
    brevettabilità delle forme di vita, inclusi i microrganismi, deve
    essere proibita in tutti i regimi nazionali ed internazionali.

  • Una
    diversità culturale genuina deve essere difesa dall’impatto e
    dall’omogeneizzazione dei mercati globali e dai monopoli sui saperi,
    sulla tecnologia e sulle telecomunicazioni.

Preservare e favorire la sovranità alimentare e la sicurezza alimentare

Affermiamo che il diritto al cibo è un diritto umano
fondamentale. L’accordo sull’agricoltura (AOA) della Wto subordina
questo diritto ai profitti delle imprese.
Il sistema alimentare
promosso dalla Wto è costruito su un’agricoltura industrializzata con
grande utilizzo di capitali e guidata dalle esportazioni, che sta
contribuendo alla concentrazione delle imprese lungo la catena
alimentare e compromettendo la sopravvivenza, i diritti, la salute, le
condizioni di vita e di lavoro dei lavoratori nei settori
dell’agricoltura e alimentare, e di conseguenza compromettendo la
sicurezza alimentare.

Inoltre questo sistema non riconosce che il lavoro agricolo
è un modo di vita ed una base importante per la comunità e la cultura.
Le politiche della Wto e di altri accordi commerciali favoriscono
quindi un’ulteriore concentrazione ed un aumento del potere delle
imprese multinazionali e causano l’espulsione di milioni di contadini e
di famiglie di agricoltori dalle terre e dalla produzione, nel Nord
come nel Sud del mondo. Dall’introduzione dei “programmi di
aggiustamento strutturale” e della Wto, molti contadini, famiglie di
agricoltori e lavoratori nel campo dell’agricoltura sono stati
allontanati dalle loro terre e hanno provato la fame, molti sono stati
spinti al suicidio, permettendo la liberalizzazione delle importazioni
tramite la riduzione delle tariffe, l’abolizione delle restrizioni
quantitative e l’introduzione di politiche nazionali agricole ingiuste.
Contemporaneamente molti sussidi che vanno all’agribusiness, ed in
primo luogo alle imprese agricole orientate all’export, sono aumentati
invece di diminuire.

Mentre queste regole permettono in maniera sempre maggiore
alle potenti imprese commerciali dell’agribusiness di abbattere i
prezzi delle materie prime pagati ai contadini in tutto il mondo, la
concentrazione della distribuzione e della lavorazione del cibo sotto
le regole dei negoziati agricoli e sui servizi della Wto ha portato ad
un aumento dei prezzi per i consumatori.
Di conseguenza:

  • per evitare un’ulteriore aumento della fame, degli
    spostamenti forzati e delle morti, devono essere intraprese delle
    azioni per ridurre le politiche agricole, commerciali e sugli
    investimenti che incoraggiano una cronica sovrapproduzione e per
    proibire il dumping dei prodotti agricoli sui mercati mondiali, sotto i
    costi di produzione da parte delle grandi imprese agricole ed altri
    soggetti coinvolti nel commercio mondiale di prodotti agricoli. I
    sussidi diretti ed indiretti che causano il dumping devono essere
    proibiti. I paesi dovrebbero mantenere e riaffermare i loro diritti
    sovrani a proteggere i propri mercati agricoli ed i settori interessati
    dal dumping in modo da implementare misure che possano effettivamente
    ed attivamente sostenere le produzioni sostenibili fondate sul lavoro
    dei contadini e degli agricoltori che lavorano su scala familiare.

  • E’
    necessario adottare delle misure per sostenere la sovranità alimentare
    (il diritto dei popoli e delle comunità a definire le proprie politiche
    agricole e sul cibo, cosi come il diritto di produrre i propri cibi di
    base in modo che siano rispettate le diversità culturali e produttive e
    che siano sostenute le produzioni sostenibili fondate sul lavoro dei
    contadini e delle famiglie di agricoltori) e la sicurezza alimentare e
    del cibo (sia per i consumatori sia per i produttori).

  • Le
    misure che riguardano unicamente la produzione per il consumo interno e
    che non contribuiscono ad aumentare le esportazioni sui mercati
    internazionali dovrebbero essere escluse da qualunque accordo
    commerciale internazionale. Il sistema commerciale non deve
    compromettere la sopravvivenza dei contadini, delle famiglie di
    agricoltori, dei lavoratori agricoli, dei pescatori artigianali e delle
    popolazioni indigene.

  • Crediamo che lo
    sviluppo della sovranità alimentare, della sicurezza alimentare e
    dell’agricoltura sostenibile su scala familiare richieda che i governi
    riconoscano i fallimenti nel principio del “libero commercio”, che
    sottostà all’idea di vantaggio comparato, dell’agricoltura votata
    all’esportazione e dei piani di “aggiustamento strutturale” e che
    sostituiscano queste politiche con altre che diano priorità e
    proteggano le produzioni locali, sostenibili e di sussistenza, compreso
    l’utilizzo di controlli sull’importazione e regolazioni che assicurino
    metodi di produzioni più equi e sostenibili.

  • Saranno
    necessari diversi accordi per assicurare questi obiettivi. Questi
    potrebbero includere una convenzione sulla sovranità alimentare e
    sull’agricoltura sostenibile, e una dichiarazione sui diritti dei
    contadini e delle famiglie di agricoltori. In ultima analisi la Wto e
    gli accordi di “libero commercio”, con il loro attuale focus sulla
    liberalizzazione ad ogni costo, non sono luoghi appropriati per queste
    regole; di conseguenza è necessario rafforzare dei luoghi alternativi
    dove discutere di queste regole.

Fermare la globalizzazione delle multinazionali e promuovere una giustizia nel commercio

Le regole commerciali della Wto e di molti altri accordi commerciali
oggi in essere e in corso di negoziazione promuovono il potere delle
imprese multinazionali nell’economia globale, fornendo nuovi diritti in
materia di investimento, proprietà intellettuale e altro.
Contemporaneamente, rendono praticamente irreversibili le politiche
neoliberiste di privatizzazione e deregolamentazione. Tutto questo è
fatto nel nome del “libero commercio”. Questo squilibrio nei poteri
promuove l’interesse di pochi giganti economici, spesso con effetti
devastanti sulle economie locali, in modo particolare nei paesi in via
di sviluppo.

Questo potere delle imprese è stato considerevolmente aumentato
mediante accordi regionali e bilaterali sul commercio e sugli
investimenti. Le loro potenti regole promuovono i diritti delle imprese
e pongono una seria minaccia alle autorità democratiche locali. In
certi accordi, di fatto, le ora imprese straniere possono fare causa ai
governi nazionali per “mancati profitti”, se qualunque legge o
regolamentazione nel paese riduce le loro attuali o future possibilità
di profitto. I diritti ambientali, del lavoro e sociali sono tutti
diventati secondari rispetto al diritto al profitto delle imprese.
Questo andamento deve essere ribaltato.

Dopo avere ostacolato con successo l’Accordo Multilaterale
sugli Investimenti, che avrebbe assicurato questi diritti delle
imprese, chiediamo di porre fine alla strategia delle imprese di
promuovere una rapida ed avventata espansione degli accordi regionali e
bilaterali sul commercio e gli investimenti che cercano di rinforzare
le mancanze della Wto. Chiediamo anche di porre fine alle regole che
garantiscono il diritto al profitto di un investitore straniero,
esponendo le politiche di regolamentazione locale alle sfide degli
investitori e chiedendo compensazioni con soldi pubblici.

Per iniziare a muoversi verso un sistema commerciale giusto,
chiediamo ai governi di negoziare un accordo legalmente vincolante per
assicurare che le imprese siano ritenute democraticamente responsabili
per la loro condotta e riguardo gli impatti sociali, economici ed
ambientali, compreso il ruolo che alcune giocano nel sostenere regimi
politici repressivi ed il commercio delle armi. Questo dovrebbe essere
fatto tramite le Nazioni Unite ed altre organizzazioni appropriate, con
la piena partecipazione della società civile.

Chiediamo inoltre alle organizzazioni della società civile ed
ai movimenti sociali di iniziare un dialogo globale della società
civile sullo sviluppo di un’alternativa, un quadro commerciale giusto e
sostenibile che rimpiazzi il modello neoliberista, uno che promuova
genuinamente uno sviluppo sostenibile fondato sui diritti e
nell’interesse delle persone.

Siamo impegnati per un sistema commerciale ecologicamente
sostenibile, socialmente giusto e democraticamente responsabile. Come
primo passo, quindi, chiediamo che i nostri governi implementino i
cambiamenti elencati in questo documento, in modo da bloccare ed
invertire il potere e l’autorità della Wto, e per invertire la
direzione del commercio e creare un sistema giusto. Ci impegniamo a
mobilitare le persone all’interno dei nostri paesi, regionalmente e
globalmente per lottare per queste richieste e per sfidare le politiche
ingiuste della Wto ed in generale del sistema commerciale
multilaterale.

La scelta davanti a noi è chiara: o accettiamo l’attuale ordine
globale centrato sulle imprese e abbandoniamo il welfare delle prossime
generazioni ed il futuro stesso del pianeta, o raccogliamo la difficile
sfida di muoverci verso un nuovo sistema che metta al centro gli
interessi delle persone, delle comunità e dell’ambiente.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Declaración de unidad política de la Red ‘NUESTRO MUNDO NO ESTÁ EN VENTA’

Our World Is Not For Sale - 29 April, 2009 - 19:51
Currently accepting signatories:  Accept signatories

FRENEMOS LA GLOBALIZACIÓN DE LAS TRANSNACIONALES:

OTRO MUNDO ES POSIBLE

Declaración de unidad política de la Red

‘NUESTRO MUNDO NO ESTÁ EN VENTA’

Introducción: nuestro desafío

‘Nuestro Mundo No Está en Venta’ es una red mundial de
organizaciones, activistas y movimientos sociales abocados a combatir
los acuerdos de comercio e inversiones que promueven la globalización
orientada por las transnacionales y benefician a las empresas más
poderosas del mundo a costa de los pueblos y el medio ambiente.

Contra ese proceso de globalización orientada por las
transnacionales, sostenemos la visión de una economía mundial fundada
en principios de justicia económica, sustentabilidad ecológica y
responsabilidad democrática –una economía que privilegie los intereses
de los pueblos y las personas antes que los de las empresas. Una
economía erigida en torno a los intereses de los verdaderos productores
y consumidores –trabajadores, campesinos, agricultores familiares,
pescadores artesanales, pequeños y medianos  productores—y las
necesidades de quienes se encuentran marginados por el sistema
imperante, como es el caso de las mujeres y los pueblos indígenas.

Creemos que un sistema justo debe proteger y no socavar la
diversidad cultural, biológica, económica y social; priorizar la
economía y el comercio local; salvaguardar los derechos ambientales,
culturales, sociales y laborales reconocidos internacionalmente;
restituir la soberanía y autodeterminación de los pueblos, y proteger
los procesos democráticos de toma decisiones a escala nacional y
subnacional.

A diferencia del conjunto de valores, prioridades y políticas del
mismo talle para todos impuesto por organismos internacionales como la
Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC) y procesos internacionales de
solución de controversias comerciales que no son responsables ante
nadie, la democracia no es tan sólo la realización de elecciones, sino
un sistema de gobierno en el que el pueblo tiene el control de los
asuntos que afectan directamente la vida de la gente. Democracia
significa no estar sujeto a mecanismos de decisión velados, carentes de
transparencia y que no le rinden cuentas a nadie, tales como los
procesos de solución de controversias de la OMC. La democracia implica
que el pueblo asuma el control de las fuerzas que afectan directamente
la vida de la gente.

Desde su creación en 1995, la OMC ha sido promocionada como una
institución que traería mayor prosperidad, aumentaría el empleo,
reduciría la pobreza, disminuiría las desigualdades y fomentaría el
desarrollo sustentable en todo el mundo mediante la aplicación de más
“libre comercio”. Diez años después es innegable que la OMC ha tenido
efectos exactamente opuestos.

El régimen de intercambio comercial administrado por la OMC ha
demostrado ser profundamente hostil a cualquier tipo de medida
orientada a fomentar el desarrollo, aliviar la pobreza y contribuir a
asegurar la supervivencia humana y ecológica a escala local y mundial.
Amparadas tras el disfraz del “libre comercio”, las reglas de la OMC
son utilizadas para forzar la apertura de nuevos mercados y para
librarlos al control de las empresas transnacionales.

Al mismo tiempo, las grandes potencias comerciales han intentado
utilizar la OMC para promover y consolidar en manos de empresas
transnacionales el control de las actividades económicas y sociales en
esferas que trascienden el comercio, tales como el desarrollo, las
inversiones, la política de competencia, la prestación de servicios
sociales, la protección del medioambiente y la contratación pública o
compras del Estado.

La liberalización a gran escala en estas esferas obligará a los
países en desarrollo a renunciar a muchos de los instrumentos de
desarrollo económico que fueron utilizados por los países
industrializados para fortalecer sus economías y generar empleo. Es
más, las disposiciones vigentes en la OMC –así como las que se están
negociando actualmente en su seno—pueden efectivamente ‘perpetuar’ los
programas de “ajuste estructural” del Banco Mundial y el Fondo
Monetario Internacional tornándolos irreversibles.

De otra parte, los mecanismos de gobierno y toma de decisiones
utilizados en la OMC son célebres por su recurso a las amenazas, el
engaño y la manipulación, y por su falta de transparencia y el carácter
excluyente y antidemocrático de sus procesos.

Los efectos destructivos sociales, políticos y ambientales del
modelo neoliberal de globalización pro-empresarial son los que han
despertado resistencia creciente entre un espectro amplio de
organizaciones de la sociedad civil y movimientos sociales de todo el
mundo, incluso durante las Cumbres de la OMC en Seattle, Doha, Cancún
y  Hong Kong.

Nuestro Mundo No Está en Venta forma parte de ese movimiento mundial de resistencia.

Diez años después de su creación, ha quedado en evidencia que la
posibilidad de conseguir que la OMC se encamine en dirección a un
programa de reformas positivas es mínima, si no nula. Es absolutamente
necesario cambiar. El sistema imperante hoy en día es tal que:

  • se están perdiendo empleos y medios de vida, los derechos
    humanos están amenazados, se ha saqueado el medioambiente y los
    sistemas democráticos están debilitados;
  • se está socavando a las economías locales y nacionales; y
    los trabajadores, campesinos, agricultores familiares, consumidores,
    mujeres y pueblos indígenas son quienes resultan más desfavorecidos y
    explotados;
  • a los gobiernos se les está restando capacidad –y a veces
    incluso se les está privando de ella—para garantizar el acceso a los
    medios esenciales de vida, para promover la salud, la seguridad y la
    soberanía alimentaria y para proteger la diversidad cultural y
    biológica.

Los resultados negativos del sistema económico mundial imperante
están dando impulso a movimientos democráticos en todo el mundo que
reclaman cambios a través de las urnas y la movilización callejera. Las
autoridades electas de muchos países han perdido la fe en el sistema
actual de gobernanza económica mundial. Cada vez con mayor frecuencia,
algunos de los economistas y tecnócratas que crearon y respaldaron este
sistema están empezando a cuestionarlo, ya que los resultados han
demostrado ser casi antagónicos a lo prometido. Todo esto ocurre en un
contexto de desigualdad creciente –tanto entre las naciones como dentro
de cada país—y de resurgimiento del militarismo.

Tenemos que oponer resistencia y rechazar las pretensiones de la OMC
de liberalización forzosa del comercio mundial según modalidades
nocivas para la justicia económica, el bienestar social, la equidad de
género y la sustentabilidad ecológica. Es imperativo restringir el
poder y la autoridad de la OMC y hacerla retroceder de muchas esferas
en las que se ha impuesto forzosamente como en la agricultura, los
servicios y los derechos de propiedad intelectual.

Al mismo tiempo, para evitar el panorama cada vez más recurrente de
catástrofe social y ecológica, tenemos que crear nuevas instituciones
para facilitar el comercio, la producción y la distribución para el
bien común.

Necesitamos reemplazar el régimen actual de comercio –del que forman
parte tanto la OMC como otros acuerdos regionales y tratados
bilaterales de comercio e inversiones—con un nuevo sistema de comercio
socialmente justo y ecológicamente sustentable para el siglo XXI.

Nuestras metas

Desde 1998, los miembros de la red Nuestro Mundo No Está en Venta
han cooperado entre sí compartiendo análisis, diseñando estrategias y
coordinando acciones a escala internacional con el fin de fomentar el
desarrollo de economías alternativas, justas y sustentables.

Dedicamos nuestros esfuerzos al desarrollo de un nuevo sistema de
comercio sometido al control democrático, que contribuya al avance de
la justicia económica, el bienestar social, la equidad de género y la
sustentabilidad ecológica, y que provea empleo digno y los bienes y
servicios necesarios para todas las personas.

Apoyamos el desarrollo de economías locales vibrantes y los derechos
de los trabajadores, campesinos, migrantes, agricultores familiares,
consumidores, mujeres y pueblos indígenas. Consideramos que la
autodeterminación de los pueblos no debe estar subordinada a
compromisos comerciales internacionales. Entre otras cosas, eso
requiere que los procesos y mecanismos de decisión y ejecución a todos
los niveles de gobierno sean democráticos, transparentes e incluyentes.

Reconocemos que un sistema de comercio internacional socialmente
justo tiene que darle prioridad a los derechos y bienestar de los
trabajadores, campesinos, migrantes y agricultores familiares que
producen nuestros bienes, servicios y alimentos.

Exigimos que los gobiernos y las agencias internacionales cesen su
embestida contra los derechos fundamentales de los trabajadores, que
desistan de anular las conquistas logradas por la lucha de los
trabajadores, que frenen el debilitamiento de la seguridad laboral y la
nivelación hacia abajo de los salarios, y reclamamos que fortalezcan
los derechos de los trabajadores en todo el mundo.

Nos oponemos a los acuerdos y negociaciones de liberalización
comercial que privan a las comunidades indígenas y locales del acceso a
los recursos naturales de los que dependen para su supervivencia,
garantizándoselo en cambio a las empresas.

Es también imprescindible que se respeten, fomenten y ejerzan otros
derechos humanos fundamentales, empezando por la autodeterminación de
los pueblos indígenas y la dotación pública y acceso universal a
servicios sociales básicos como la educación, la salud, el agua potable
para uso humano y la seguridad y soberanía alimentaria.

La integridad ecológica tiene que ser asimismo una meta de un
sistema mundial de comercio transformado. Eso implica, entre otras
cosas, que se tiene que regular el comercio y las inversiones de manera
tal que se revierta el recalentamiento de la Tierra; los acuerdos
multilaterales sobre medioambiente tienen que gozar de primacía frente
a los acuerdos comerciales; no se puede permitir que los acuerdos
comerciales arrastren y nivelen hacia abajo las normas ambientales; el
derecho de las personas y los pueblos a rechazar los organismos
genéticamente modificados tiene que respetarse, al igual que el derecho
a preservar las semillas diversas de los agricultores y los bosques
primarios, y promover el bienestar animal.

Qué nos proponemos

Apuntalar el derecho de elección de los pueblos: autodeterminación, democracia y desarrollo

Reafirmamos el derecho fundamental de todos los países a
ejecutar políticas económicas y productivas que fortalezcan el
desarrollo económico genuino, generen empleos dignos y protejan los
medios de vida y vigoricen el medioambiente. Todos los países, y
particularmente los más empobrecidos, tienen que gozar del derecho a
optar por la aplicación de políticas (tales como las disposiciones
relativas al ‘contenido nacional’) que apunten a incrementar la
capacidad de sus propios sectores productivos, especialmente las
pequeñas y medianas empresas. Los países deben asimismo conservar la
capacidad (o espacio político) para modelar estrategias económicas y
ambientales de desarrollo al servicio de los sectores más vulnerables
de su población. El envión en pos de la “coherencia” entre las
instituciones internacionales se ha convertido en un medio para denegar
ese espacio político: el Fondo Monetario Internacional, el Banco
Mundial y algunos países donantes obligan a los gobiernos a aplicar
políticas neoliberales mientras que la OMC y otros acuerdos de comercio
e inversiones las perpetúan tornándolas irreversibles.
Por ello:

  • Nuestro Mundo No Está en Venta exige el fin de
    las prácticas secretas y coercitivas que se han transformado en el
    sello distintivo de las negociaciones comerciales, especialmente en la
    OMC, donde un puñado de gobiernos poderosos –actuando a menudo en
    nombre de sus elites empresariales—coaccionan a otros gobiernos más
    débiles para alcanzar sus objetivos.
  • Hay que impedir que los aranceles aduaneros y
    otras medidas comerciales sean desmantelados, dejando las economías
    locales y nacionales –en particular aquellas de los países más
    empobrecidos y/o los sectores económicos más débiles—libradas a la
    merced de las empresas transnacionales y poniendo en riesgo el
    desarrollo económico local y nacional, las leyes y normas laborales, el
    medioambiente y la salud pública y de los consumidores.
  • No podemos permitir que las negociaciones de
    “libre comercio” en la OMC y otras instancias continúen funcionando
    cual caballo de Troya para garantizarle reglas favorables a las
    empresas en materia de inversiones, política de competencia,
    contratación pública y compras del Estado, acceso al mercado,
    producción agropecuaria, reglamentación nacional de los servicios y
    derechos de propiedad intelectual. Tampoco se puede permitir que siga
    rigiendo la dinámica actual de fuerzas según la cual los países ricos
    industrializados le imponen su agenda económica de prioridades a los
    países más empobrecidos.
  • Hay que impedir que los ajustes estructurales y
    las condicionalidades de la deuda sigan usándose para imponerle la
    liberalización del comercio a los países del tercer mundo y otros. Es
    imprescindible que el Fondo Monetario Internacional, el Banco Mundial y
    los bancos regionales de desarrollo anulen todas las deudas que aún
    mantienen con ellos los países en desarrollo y en transición, de manera
    tal que estos puedan reasignar esos fondos a la satisfacción de las
    necesidades apremiantes de su población.

Garantizar la primacía de los derechos sociales y el medioambiente

Sostenemos que proteger y extender los derechos sociales,
satisfacer las necesidades básicas y proteger nuestro medioambiente es
esencial para la vida. Es inadmisible que las reglas de la OMC y de
otros acuerdos de ‘comercio’ los socaven.
Por ello:

  • Ningún acuerdo comercial o de inversiones debe
    socavar o tener primacía sobre los acuerdos internacionales que
    promueven la justicia social, económica y ambiental, entre ellos, mas
    no exclusivamente:
    • la Declaración
      de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) relativa a los
      Principios y Derechos Fundamentales en el trabajo (que abarca los
      cuatro derechos laborales fundamentales);
    • el Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica y su Protocolo de Bioseguridad y otros acuerdos multilaterales sobre el medioambiente;
    • la
      Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos y los convenios a ella
      asociados en el marco de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU):
      el Pacto Internacional de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y culturales; y
      el Pacto Internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos;
    • el proyecto de Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de las Poblaciones Indígenas;
    • la Convención sobre la Eliminación de todas las Formas de Discriminación Contra la Mujer; y
    • la Convención Internacional sobre la Protección de los Derechos de todos los Trabajadores Migratorios y de sus Familiares.
  • Los gobiernos deben conservar el derecho
    soberano a determinar cómo regulan sus servicios de manera tal que se
    satisfagan las necesidades de su población, su economía y sociedad y
    que se honren sus demás obligaciones internacionales y
    constitucionales, entre ellas aquellas de cara a las mujeres, los
    pueblos indígenas, los jóvenes y niños, los adultos mayores y los
    pobres.
  • El derecho de los gobiernos a aplicar el
    principio de precaución con el fin de proteger la salud pública, el
    medioambiente y la agricultura frente a riesgos desconocidos tiene que
    primar sobre cualquier acuerdo o disposición comercial.
  • Es imperativo evitar cualquier recorte
    arancelario que perjudique al medioambiente y el desarrollo sustentable
    como resultado del crecimiento inadecuado del comercio de recursos
    naturales y otros bienes sensibles desde el punto de vista ambiental.
  • Hay que frenar el debilitamiento de la ONU a
    manos de las pro-empresariales instituciones de Bretton Woods (Banco
    Mundial y FMI), la OMC y las grandes potencias, y fortalecer el sistema
    de acuerdos y agencias de Naciones Unidas.

Proteger los servicios esenciales

Adherimos al principio fundamental de que ningún acuerdo
comercial o de inversiones debe vulnerar el derecho soberano de los
gobiernos a garantizar el acceso de la población a los bienes
esenciales para la vida, y a promover la salud y bienestar de sus
pueblos  y proteger el medioambiente.
Por ello:

  • No se debe presionar a los países a aceptar
    reglas de comercio que coarten el ejercicio de esa soberanía, ya sea a
    través de la OMC y su Acuerdo General sobre el Comercio de Servicios
    (AGCS o GATS, por su sigla en inglés) o a través de otros acuerdos
    regionales o bilaterales. 
  • Es imprescindible excluir explícitamente de
    todos los acuerdos de comercio e inversiones a  todos aquellos sectores
    directamente asociados a dichos servicios esenciales, entre ellos los
    de salud, educación, cultura audiovisual, asistencia social, agua
    potable y energía.
  • Las reglas relativas a la reglamentación
    nacional, los subsidios y la contratación pública de servicios
    obstaculizan por su propia naturaleza el ejercicio de ese derecho
    soberano, y no se las debería incluir en los acuerdos de comercio e
    inversiones.

Hoy en día se está ejerciendo muchísima presión sobre los países
para que sometan sus servicios esenciales a las reglas del AGCS cuyo
efecto es promover las privatizaciones. Por otra parte, cuando un país
que es o ha sido víctima de la desregulación y privatización de sus
servicios esenciales en cumplimiento de las exigencias de “ajuste
estructural”, asume compromisos con arreglo a las reglas del AGCS,
dichas reglas sirven para perpetuar esas privatizaciones tornándolas
irreversibles. El AGCS fomenta de ese modo la apertura de los mercados
nacionales y el ingreso de empresas transnacionales, y promueve así el
avance del modelo económico neoliberal.
Por ello:

  • Es imperativo retraer esas exigencias de ajuste
    estructural, no perpetuarlas, y hay que impedir que los nuevos
    préstamos o donaciones a los países sean condicionados al cumplimiento
    de dichas exigencias, del mismo modo que hay que objetar que se
    presione a los países para que sometan sus servicios esenciales a las
    reglas del AGCS.

Defender el conocimiento, la cultura y las formas de vida como esencia de la civilización

Consideramos el conocimiento, la cultura y la educación como
fuerzas motrices de la civilización que no pueden ser reducidas a meras
mercancías comerciables o propiedad privada.

No existe ningún fundamento legítimo para la inclusión de
reclamos de propiedad intelectual en un acuerdo de comercio. Más aún,
todos los países tienen la responsabilidad y la obligación de proteger
la salud pública y el bienestar de sus ciudadanos. Las reglas de
propiedad intelectual vigentes en los acuerdos comerciales, tales como
el acuerdo de la OMC sobre los Aspectos de los Derechos de Propiedad
Intelectual relacionados con el Comercio ( ADPIC), obstruyen el acceso
de los pueblos a medicamentos vitales, semillas y otros bienes
esenciales, conducen a la destrucción de la biodiversidad y la
apropiación privada de los seres vivos y el conocimiento tradicional.
Además le impiden a los países empobrecidos elevar sus niveles de
bienestar económico y social y defender su singularidad identitaria y
su patrimonio.
Por ello:

  • Los gobiernos deben conservar el derecho irrestricto a
    limitar los derechos de propiedad que confieren las patentes, a fin de
    proteger el interés público y el bien común en esas esferas,
    especialmente con relación a los medicamentos, las semillas y los seres
    vivos y sus partes.
  • El patentamiento  de formas de vida, incluso
    microorganismos, tiene que prohibirse en todas las legislaciones
    nacionales e internacionales.
  • Tenemos que defender la diversidad cultural genuina contra
    el impacto homogenizador de los mercados mundiales y los monopolios del
    conocimiento, la tecnología y las telecomunicaciones.

Preservar y extender la seguridad y soberanía alimentaria

Sostenemos que el derecho a la alimentación es un derecho humano
fundamental. El Acuerdo Agrícola de la OMC subordina este derecho al
lucro empresarial. La OMC fomenta un sistema alimentario fundado en una
agricultura industrializada de exportación e intensiva en inversión de
capital, que está profundizando la concentración empresarial a lo largo
de toda la cadena alimentaria a la vez que socava el sustento, los
derechos, la salud y las condiciones de vida y laborales de los
trabajadores agrícolas y de la alimentación, minando así aún más la
seguridad alimentaria.

Además no admite ni reconoce que la agricultura es un modo de
vida y un cimiento importante de la comunidad y la cultura. En
consecuencia, sus políticas y aquellas de otros acuerdos comerciales
alientan una concentración mayor y acrecientan el poder de las empresas
transnacionales y provocan la expulsión de millones de campesinos,
agricultores familiares y trabajadores agrícolas que son despojados de
sus tierras y excluidos de la producción en los países del Norte y del
Sur. Desde que se iniciaron los programas de “ajuste estructural” y se
creó la OMC, muchos campesinos, agricultores familiares y trabajadores
agrícolas han sido desplazados de la tierra y sufrido hambre, empujando
a muchos de ellos al suicidio debido a la liberalización de la
agricultura mediante recortes arancelarios, la abolición de las
restricciones cuantitativas y la aplicación de políticas nacionales
agropecuarias inequitativas. Al mismo tiempo, muchos subsidios que
benefician al agronegocio –incluso a la agricultura industrial de
exportación—se  han incrementado en lugar que recortado.

Por otra parte, mientras estas reglas le permiten a las empresas
comercializadoras crecientemente poderosas presionar hacia abajo los
precios que se le paga a los agricultores de todo el mundo por sus
productos, la concentración de la distribución y procesamiento de
alimentos alentada por las reglas de la OMC para la agricultura y los
servicios han llevado a un aumento de los precios al consumidor. 
Por ello:

  • Para evitar una escalada mayor de hambre,
    desplazados y muertes, es imperativo que se emprendan acciones
    inmediatamente para restringir las políticas agrícolas, de comercio e
    inversiones que estimulan la superproducción crónica, y prohibir eldumpingde
    productos agrícolas en los mercados mundiales a precios por debajo del
    costo de producción, practicado por las grandes empresas
    transnacionales agroalimentarias y otros agentes que intervienen en el
    comercio mundial agropecuario. Hay que prohibir los subsidios directos
    e indirectos a las exportaciones que conducen aldumping. Los países deben conservar y  reafirmar su derecho soberano a proteger sus mercados y sectores agrícolas contra eldumping,
    y poder así aplicar medidas que activa y efectivamente brinden apoyo a
    la producción sustentable fundada en la agricultura familiar y
    campesina.

  • Es preciso tomar medidas que
    fomenten y protejan la soberanía alimentaria de los pueblos (el derecho
    de los pueblos y las comunidades a definir sus propias políticas
    alimentarias y agrícolas, así como el derecho a producir sus alimentos
    básicos de forma tal que se respete la diversidad cultural y productiva
    y se apoye la producción campesina y la agricultura familiar), la
    inocuidad de los alimentos y la seguridad alimentaria (tanto de los
    consumidores como de los productores). 

  • Las
    medidas que sólo competen a la producción para el consumo nacional y
    que no contribuyen a incrementar las exportaciones a mercados
    internacionales deben quedar eximidas de cualquier acuerdo
    internacional de comercio. Hay que impedir que el sistema de comercio
    socave el sustento de los campesinos, agricultores familiares,
    trabajadores agrícolas, pescadores artesanales y pueblos indígenas.

  • Consideramos
    que el ejercicio de la soberanía y seguridad alimentaria y el
    desarrollo de una agricultura sustentable de base familiar y campesina,
    le exige a los gobiernos reconocer la imperfección y fallas de los
    principios de libre comercio que fundamentan tanto la teoría de
    ventajas comparativas percibidas, como el desarrollo de la agricultura
    orientada a la exportación y las políticas de “ajuste estructural”; y
    que sustituyan esas políticas por otras que le den prioridad y protejan
    a la producción local, de subsistencia y sustentable, utilizando a tal
    efecto medidas de control a las importaciones y reglas que garanticen
    métodos de producción sustentable más equitativos.

  • Para
    garantizar el logro de estos objetivos se requerirán diversos acuerdos,
    probablemente entre ellos una convención sobre soberanía alimentaria y
    agricultura sustentable, y una declaración sobre los derechos de los
    agricultores campesinos y familiares. Con su enfoque actual de
    liberalización del comercio a cualquier costo, ni la OMC ni ningún otro
    “tratado de libre comercio” son en última instancia el lugar adecuado
    para tales reglas, razón por la cual se debe fortalecer otros espacios
    alternativos para discutirlas.

Frenar la globalización orientada por las transnacionales y promover la justicia en el comercio

Las reglas de comercio de la OMC, así como las que emanan de muchos
otros acuerdos comerciales regionales vigentes o actualmente en
negociación, promueven el poder corporativo de las grandes empresas en
la economía mundial proporcionándoles nuevos derechos de protección a
las inversiones, de propiedad intelectual y otros. Al mismo tiempo,
esas reglas perpetúan las políticas neoliberales de privatización y
desregulación tornándolas irreversibles. Todo esto está disfrazado de
“libre comercio”. Este desequilibrio de poder sirve y promueve los
intereses económicos mezquinos de algunos pocos gigantes de la economía
mundial, a menudo con efectos devastadores para las economías locales y
nacionales, particularmente en los países en desarrollo.

Este poder empresarial corporativo se está fortaleciendo a través de
tratados y acuerdos regionales y bilaterales de comercio e inversiones,
cuyas reglas poderosas promueven derechos corporativos para las
empresas y constituyen una seria amenaza a la autoridad gubernamental
democrática nacional. De conformidad con algunos acuerdos, de hecho,
las empresas extranjeras pueden ahora demandar a los gobiernos
nacionales por “lucro cesante” si cualquier ley o reglamentación del
país reduce sus ganancias actuales o futuras. Los derechos ambientales,
laborales y sociales quedan todos subordinados al derecho de las
empresas a lucrar. Es imprescindible revertir esta tendencia.

Habiendo frustrado con éxito el Acuerdo Multilateral de Inversiones
(AMI) que hubiera consagrado tales derechos empresariales corporativos,
reclamamos que se le ponga fin a la artimaña empresarial de fomento a
la expansión rápida y aventurada de acuerdos regionales y bilaterales
de comercio e inversiones como estrategia para apuntalar a la OMC
desfalleciente. Asimismo exigimos el cese de cualesquier reglas de
comercio que garanticen el derecho de  las empresas a lucrar sometiendo
a las políticas regulatorias nacionales a demandas y reclamos de
indemnización pagaderos con fondos públicos.

Para empezar a movernos hacia un sistema justo de comercio,
exhortamos a los gobiernos a negociar un acuerdo vinculante que
garantice que las empresas rindan cuenta democráticamente de sus actos
y sus impactos sociales, económicos y ambientales, incluso del papel
que algunas juegan en apoyo a regímenes represivos y el comercio de
armas. Este acuerdo debe negociarse a través de la ONU  y otros
organismos especializados, con participación plena de la sociedad civil.

De otra parte, convocamos a las organizaciones y movimientos de la
sociedad civil a emprender un diálogo mundial de la sociedad civil
tendiente a desarrollar un sistema de comercio alternativo, justo y
sustentable en sustitución del modelo neoliberal –un sistema que
promueva genuinamente un desarrollo sustentable favorable a los pueblos
y fundado en sus derechos básicos, y que ponga en primer lugar a las
comunidades.

Estamos abocados a la construcción de un sistema de comercio
sometido al control democrático, ecológicamente sustentable y
socialmente justo. Por lo tanto, como primer paso, exigimos que
nuestros gobiernos implementen los cambios enumerados en este documento
con vistas a restringir y revertir el poder y la autoridad de la OMC y
reorientar el comercio para crear un sistema justo. Nos comprometemos a
movilizar a la población de nuestros países, en las distintas regiones
y en todo el mundo para luchar por estas demandas y combatir las
políticas injustas de la OMC y el sistema general de comercio
multilateral.

Las opciones que tenemos son tajantes: o aceptamos el orden mundial
imperante centrado en las empresas e hipotecamos el bienestar de las
generaciones venideras y el futuro mismo del planeta, o asumimos el
difícil desafío de encaminarnos hacia un sistema nuevo centrado en las
necesidades de los pueblos, las comunidades y el medioambiente.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale