Planet Not For Sale

Axel Kicillof informó el pago a los bonistas que adhirieron al canje

Blog de Javier Echaide - 26 June, 2014 - 15:36
Se reproduce aquí el comunicado oficial que realizara hoy en conferencia de presna el Ministro de Economía, Axel Kicillof, respecto del pago de servicios de deuda realizado pro la República Argentina a los bonistas del canje.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Axel Kicillof informó el pago a los bonistas que adhirieron al canje

Blog de Javier Echaide - 26 June, 2014 - 15:36
Se reproduce aquí el comunicado oficial que realizara hoy en conferencia de presna el Ministro de Economía, Axel Kicillof, respecto del pago de servicios de deuda realizado pro la República Argentina a los bonistas del canje.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Corporate America’s Mysterious Affinity for the Number 700,000

Eyes on Trade - 25 June, 2014 - 15:16

The Chamber is at it again.  As negotiations drag and support flags for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has come up with a new number to sell the controversial deal to a skeptical Congress and U.S. public: 700,000. 

That’s the number of U.S. jobs that the corporate alliance claims could be created by the sweeping pact opposed by a diverse array of members of Congress, small businesses, and labor organizations for its threats to, well, U.S. jobs. 

How did the Chamber get this number?  They don’t say. 

The Chamber blog post proclaiming the six-digit figure simply says it is “based on the methodology and outcomes” of a Peterson Institute study that used outsized assumptions to produce miniscule projections for the TPP’s economic impact.  Under the most optimistic scenario the authors could envision, the study projected a 0.13 percent increase in U.S. GDP under the deal –- a fraction of the estimated GDP contribution of the latest version of the iPhone. 

But the Peterson Institute study did not project what this tiny economic impact would mean for jobs.  It is unclear how the Chamber pulled a jobs number from a study that did not produce a jobs number. 

We called them to ask.  We were told that no one was there who could answer our question.  Multiple calls and emails later, and we still have no response from the Chamber to solve the mystery of the unsubstantiated statistic.

Here’s one theory on the steps the Chamber took to derive its estimate of the TPP’s prospective impact:

  1. Copy
  2. Paste

This is not the first time the Chamber has used the number 700,000. Indeed, the Chamber appears to have an uncanny affinity for the number when pushing a retrograde, anti-worker agenda. 

When some states raised their minimum wage laws and increased workers’ benefits after the Great Recession, the Chamber commissioned a study finding that such labor laws had cost U.S. jobs.  How many?  700,000

When the Obama administration proposed a tax increase on the wealthy in 2012, the Chamber commissioned a study finding that the proposal would eliminate U.S. jobs…700,000 jobs, to be precise. 

Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that the Chamber is using its lucky number once again to push a regressive deal like the TPP. 

But hey, if the copy/paste method works…

Maybe we should take a cue from the Chamber and start using whatever numbers we have lying around.  Let’s see…how many U.S. jobs have been lost under NAFTA to Mexico alone?  Well I’ll be -– the answer is 700,000

Borrowing a card from the Chamber, we hereby project that the TPP will cost U.S. workers 700,000 jobs. 

Okay, obviously it would be ridiculous to pull such projections out of thin air.  And let’s hope that’s not what the Chamber is doing to arrive at its unsubstantiated claim. 

But without an explanation from the Chamber, we are left to speculate.  Maybe they somehow converted Peterson’s miniscule projected GDP gain projection into a much larger jobs gain, errantly ignoring the impact of TPP-spurred inequality.  (The Center for Economic and Policy Research found that the likely increase in inequality resulting from the TPP would swamp the small gains projected by the Peterson Institute, spelling a pay cut for 90 percent of U.S. workers.)  

Or maybe the Chamber extrapolated a jobs figure from the study’s export calculations, errantly ignoring the impact of TPP-spurred imports.  (Any study claiming to evaluate the net impact of trade deals must deal with both sides of the trade equation –- in the same way that exports are associated with job opportunities, imports are associated with lost job opportunities when they outstrip exports, as dramatically seen under existing U.S. pacts.) 

In the end, we don’t know how the corporate alliance generated the mystery number behind its TPP cheerleading.  Until we see some evidence, we’re going to take the Chamber’s statistic with about 700,000 grains of salt.  

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

"Argentina quiere seguir pagando su deuda pero no la dejan"

Blog de Javier Echaide - 22 June, 2014 - 20:29
Ese es el título de la solicitada que posteamos, publicada el día sábado 21/06/2014 en el diario norteamericano The New York Times y que aquí reproducimos.


Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Nixon Hatched Fast Track, Not FDR

Eyes on Trade - 18 June, 2014 - 18:42

By Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and author of The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority

Amidst the distorted trade data and counterfactual foreign policy claims, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman offered up a bit of revisionist U.S. trade policy history on Monday that must have left the folks listening to his Council on Foreign Relations speech scratching their heads.

No, FDR did not create Fast Track trade authority. And, JFK did not celebrate its renewal.

Invoking those Democratic icons is an interesting strategy, given that a sizable bloc of House GOP members oppose giving President Obama Fast Track.  The extraordinary authority, which Congress has refused to delegate for 15 of the past 20 years, let a president negotiate and sign a “trade” pact before Congress approved it and guaranteed a no-amendments vote in 90 days regardless of whether the pact met Congress’ objectives.

But maybe the target audience was House Democrats, given that only seven of the Democratic representatives have announced support for legislation introduced  early this year to revive the old Fast Track mechanism.

In his speech, Froman noted the 80th anniversary of the Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act (RTAA) of 1934 and declared that the trade authority it established was an antecedent of Fast Track, and that it was used by the Roosevelt administration, renewed 11 times by 1962 and toasted by President Kennedy.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp echoed Froman’s insinuations about   Fast Track: “every president, until now, has partnered with Congress to have this powerful tool to negotiate the best possible trade deals for America.” The talking point is also favored by the Business Roundtable and other corporate groups of the Trade Benefits America Coalition: “Trade Promotion Authority is a partnership between the President and Congress…Since the 1930's, such authority has been critical to the opening of new markets…”

Except, in fact, Fast Track was first hatched by Richard Nixon, not FDR. And it only went into effect in the 1970s, not the 1930s.

Due to its unpopularity, Fast Track was only in effect for five of the last 20 years. But that hasn’t stopped U.S. trade growth. Fast Track was only used on 16 of the hundreds of U.S. trade and commercial pacts that have gone into effect since the 1970s. Trade-expansion-focused President Clinton only had Fast Track for two of his eight years in office, after the House voted down his request for the extraordinary authority in 1998. Yet, Clinton’s administration completed more than 200 trade and commercial agreements with diverse countries.

And, that gets us to the TPA sleight of hand. The “TPA” that was established in the Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act of 1934 is “Tariff Proclamation Authority.” It has allowed presidents to declare cuts to tariffs – border taxes on goods – within parameters set by Congress. And yes, presidents have had that authority since the 1930s, including Fast-Trackless Clinton.

In contrast, Fast Track – for which “TPA” was not coincidentally chosen as the preferred rebranding – may be Nixon’s most under-appreciated power grab. For the first time in 200 years of U.S. history, Fast Track empowered the executive branch to “diplomatically legislate” changes to non-trade U.S. domestic policy via “trade” negotiations. Until Fast Track, Congress used five different forms of trade authority over the course of the nation’s history to direct executive branch trade negotiators. None of them granted executive authority beyond tariffs.

In contrast, Fast Track turned “trade” pacts into backdoor means for executive branch officials to set policy on an array of matters otherwise under Congress’ or state legislatures’ constitutional authority: patent and copyright laws; immigration policies; food and product safety standards; financial, health and energy service sector rules; and even government procurement terms. U.S. domestic law must be altered to conform to such “trade” pact terms. Failure to do so can result in indefinite trade sanctions against U.S. exports.

For all the focus on Fast Track’s end-game legislative luge-run of a guaranteed no-amendments, limited-debate vote in 90 days, it was the invasion of Congress’ core policymaking prerogatives that has made Fast Track so toxic. Under Fast Track, the executive branch could ignore – and did so under both Democratic and Republican presidents – Congress’ “trade” pact negotiating objectives and still get the expedited approval processes for whatever it negotiated and signed. That’s why the talking point now being passed around that somehow Fast Track is a means for Congress to exercise its constitutional authority is just silly. 

A member of Congress can love free trade and seek new trade agreements and still find unacceptable the concentration of power in the executive branch that is at the core of the Fast Track form of trade authority. The expansive scope of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement now under negotiation spotlights this reality. Of its 29 chapters, only five pertain to traditional trade matters. Most of the rest of the TPP chapters would set policies on subjects otherwise under the authority of Congress and state legislatures, which would be binding on the United States and not subject to amendment absent approval by all signatory countries.

It is not surprising that the prospects for reestablishment of the expansive old Fast Track delegation of Congress’ constitutional trade and legislative authorities are remote. And that is the case whether or not it is conflated with the old TPA, the new TPA or falsely associated with any beloved president.

The real question is whether the old Fast Track process will be replaced by a new trade authority mechanism that is appropriate for the reality of today’s expansive international commercial negotiations. A modern approach would require an expanded role for Congress from start to finish and much more accountability over executive branch negotiators. 

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner en cadena nacional frente al fallo en favor de los fondos buitres.

Blog de Javier Echaide - 17 June, 2014 - 01:10
Este es el mensaje que acaba de emitir la Presidenta de la Nación Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, sobre el fallo de la Corte Suprema de EE.UU. adverso a la apelación argentina y favorable a los fondos buitres (holdouts) sobre el pago de bonos pendientes que no entraron en el canje de la deuda externa nacional.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Rechazo de la apelación argentina a los fondos buitres: sobre la prórroga de jurisdicción y los canjes de deuda soberana

Blog de Javier Echaide - 16 June, 2014 - 17:11
En el día de hoy se conoció la sentencia de la Corte Suprema de los EE.UU., quien decidió rechazar el recurso de apelación que el Estado argentino presentó ante la resolución del Juez Griesa en favor de los fondos buitres (holdouts) que no entraron al canje de la deuda externa argentina, reestructurada en los años 2005 y 2010.

Esto significa un muy complicado escenario para la Argentina que, de confirmarse definitivamente esta resolución, debería pagar a los acreedores que no ingresaron en el canje de deuda por el 100% de los créditos, de manera inmediata y al contado, en vez del 35% y en plazos que se acordó con una amplia mayoría de los acreedores de dichos bonos (cerca del 92%).
Durante los últimos meses se adviertieron posicionamientos cruzados en varios de los principales medios nacionales sobre este tema. Algunos destacaban la cercanía de Argentina a un nuevo default, otros a la fuerte posición del gobierno nacional frente a los fondos especulativos internacionales. La realidad, sin embargo, era otra de la que estos dos relatos pretendían ofrecer. Luego del fallo del Juez de Priemra Instancia en favor de los fondos buitres, las presiones que se sumaron a la defensa argentina fue la de los "otros" fondos buitres: la de aquellos que sí entraron a la renegociación de la deuda externa argentina con una quita del 65%. Estos acreedores se presentaron también apelando contra el fallo como afectados ante un escenario favorable a la demanda planteada que pretendía (y pretende) cobrar en efectivo, en un solo pago, el 100% de la deuda comprometida en bonos soberanos argentinos y que prorrogaban la jurisdicción nacional en favor de tribunales extranjeros, en este caso los de Nueva York, donde Griesa ostenta su cargo.
No se trataba ya de una demanda contra un Estado sino de una disputa entre capitales financieros: los que entraron en el canje de deuda -el 92% de los acreedores y que protestaron con la sentencia del juez Griesa- y los que no ingresaron al canje -el 8% de los acreedores que fueron quienes demandaron y obtuvieron sentencia de primera instancia favorable-. Este disputa trastocó todo el panorama, pues el presendente afectaría ya no la economía argentina solamente, sino la posibilidad de todo aquel Estado que desee reestructurar su deuda externa.
Argentina hace meses tomó la decisión política de optar por una estrategia de acercamiento a los merados financieros internacionales en distintos frentes. Una de las primeras decisiones fue el pago de cinco demandas internacionales en el CIADI por unos US$ 677 millones a empresas transnacionales, dos de las cuales se trataban de los juicios ganados por las norteamericanas Azurix (por la demanda homónima sobre un caso de agua potable) y Blue Ridge (por la demanda de CMS por transporte de gas) que habían provocado que los EE.UU. retiraran a la Argentina del Sistema General de Preferencias arancelarias (SGP), una prerrogativa que EE.UU. otorga unilateralmente y con lo cual logra hacer efectivos algunos condicionamientos económicos y políticos.

El pago de las demandas en el CIADI significó romper el apoyo que la Argentina había manifestado en favor de Ecuador frente a su causa contra Chevron en la que la petrolera norteamericana había sido condenada por tribunales locales por la sideral suma de US$ 9.000 millones por contaminación ambiental en la Amazonia ecuatoriana. En diciembre de 2013, la presidenta Cristina Fernández de Kirchner había manifestado públicamente frente al presidente Rafael Correa dicho apoyo y sus críticas a "tribunales internacionales de inversiones" y al régimen de arbitraje sobre la materia, dejando prever que Argentina -el país más demandado en el mundo ante el CIADI y el más perjudicado por el sistema arbitral de inversiones- apostaría a abandonar el sistema. Lejos de eso, seis meses después Argentina cierra un acuerdo con la empresa Chevron para la explotación de yacimientos no convencionales de petróleo en Vaca Muerta (provincia de Neuquén) y poco después paga las cinco demandas en el CIADI ya referidas, haciendo un griro de 180 grados a las decisiones que había inicialmente dejado entrever.

El segundo paso fue acordar con Repsol por otra demanda en el CIADI originada por la expropiación que Argentina efectuó del 51% del capital accionario de la transnacional española en YPF. La demanda había sido interpuesta por US$ 10.500 millones. Argentina había declarado no pagar "ni un centavo", pero finalmente acordó por una indemnización de US$ 5.000 millones más intereses.

Luego del pago de las demandas en el CIADI y del acuerdo con Chevron, el paso siguiente fue la adquisición de nueva deuda y la negociación por el pago de la deuda externa generada por la Dictadura Militar de Onganía con el grupo de países llamado "Club de París". De este modo se acabó con la llamada política de "desendeudamiento", se acordó pagar una deuda no reconocida por US$ 9.700 millones, y se volvió a los mercados financieros internacionales adquiriendo nueva deuda.

Argentina había optado por esta estrategia paralelamente a la presentación de los acreedores que sí habían acordado la reestructuración de deuda, entendiendo que esta búsqueda de un acercamiento al poder financiero internacional podría motivar una decisión favorable. Esta decisión significaría que Argentina deba pagar US$ 1.300 millones (al 100% de la deuda contraída originalmente) a los fondos buitres. Se optó por congraciarse creyendo que ello aseguraría una decisión positiva, y fue un error.

De este modo, hoy Argentina queda comprometida a pagar montos por US$ 16.677 millones a corporaciones y acreedores internacionales contrayendo, además, más deuda. Como único saldo positivo en el interín figura el haber evitado el embargo de la fragata Libertad en Ghana, que los fondos buitres habían interpuesto como ejecución frente al no pago. El resultado de este proceso evidentemente da un fuerte saldo negativo.

Pero el riesgo es todavía mayor dado que esta sentencia coloca, además, en una muy mala posición a los acreedores que sí reestructuraron la deuda ocn Argentina y acordaron una quita de sus créditos del 65%. Reabrir el canje podría significar el fracaso de la política nacional en materia de manejo de la deuda externa (la convocatoria de acreedores, la "quita histórica" y el "desendeudamiento") y el riesgo de reabrir su deuda canjeada so pena de enfrentar mayores procesos judiciales en EE.UU. (jurisdicción a donde se cedió la potestad de emplazar los reclamos judiciales). Esta última posibilidad equivaldría nuevos pagos por entre US$ 30.000 y US$ 70.000 millones (empero, hoy, 19/06/14, en Página/12 ya se habla de riesgos de pagos "por más de US$ 100.000 millones": http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/elpais/subnotas/248948-68419-2014-06-19.html).

Empero, la decisión de la Corte de EE.UU. va mucho más allá de la afectación de nuestro país dado que sienta un fuerte precedente contra la posibilidad de que un Estado pueda reestructurar su deuda soberana. Y tal decisión va en contrna no de la Argentina sino de todos los países deudores del mundo, en donde están también incluídos Italia, Grecia, España y por qué no el propio Estados Unidos, el país más deudor del planeta. Lo más irónico sería que, ante una situación de grave crisis económico-financiera internacional como la existente, la aplicación de este fallo sobre la deuda norteamericana sería favorable a... ¡China! su principal acreedor.

Existe una mínima posibilidad aun de postergar la decisión final solicitado una reconsideración del fallo, las cuales suelen ser denegadas. El recurso de reconsideración (que Argentina ya está pensando preparar) debería ser resuelta en 48hs. Una eventual reconsideración postergaría la decisión unos 6 meses, coincidiendo el plazo con la posibilidad de modificar la sede de pago de los bonos comprometidos, de Washington a Buenos Aires, entrando en un default técnico.

Pero, nuevamente, no es una cuestión de dinero. Es un riesgo mayor. Argentina posee US$ 1.300 millones para pagar. el tema es lo que implicaría eso si se reabre el canje sumado a los compromisos ya asumidos de demandas internacionales. Ese es un primer dato del riesgo de este juicio.

El segundo: el hecho de poner en duda la posibilidad que los Estados aún conservan sobre renegociar su deuda soberana. Si Argentina pierde este juicio, eso daría la razón al 15% de los acreedores que no entraron en el canje lo cual pondría en serias dudas el sentido de querer entrar en una reestructuración.

El tercer dato: poner en riesgo fijar la jurisdicción norteamericana como "garantía" en los bonos de deuda. ¿Qué Estado desearía fijar como jurisdicción legal para la emisión de sus bonos a las cortes norteamericanas tras este fallo? Esta opción, instalada por el ministro menemista Domingo Cavallo en los ´90 y sostenida en el tiempo por los gobiernos posteriores, entraría en crisis. Y dicha duda se sumaría a las existentes críticas contra la prórroga de jurisdicción nacional a tribunales extranjeros o internacionales como el CIADI, pero que hasta el momento la Argentina se ha hecho la desentendida.

Evidentemente Argentina se encuentra en un escenario complicado tras esta resolución. Fue un error ceder la jurisdicción, así como ingresar al CIADI y no reinstalar como decisión soberana una investigación sobre la propia deuda (auditoría contable) y de los tratados de protección de inversiones (auditoriá jurídica) para distinguir trigo de paja y saber eventualmente qué es estafa y qué no. Pero Argentina, en vez de eso, eligió meterse más todavía en el juego en vez de salirse de él, y congraciarse con un sistema que olvidó su gracia hace mucho, mucho tiempo. El resultado será entonces la continuidad de la extracción de recursos de los pueblos hacia los mercados financieros internacionales, lo cual no constituye nada nuevo.
Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Morris citizens to discuss responses to extreme weather in first Rural Climate Dialogue, June 12–14

Language:  English File:  2014_06_09_RuralClimateDialogue_PR.pdf A “Citizen Jury” will come together June 12–14 in Morris, Minn. for an intense three-day deliberative forum to discuss risks posed by climate change and develop a shared, community-based response to changing weather patterns, extreme weather events, and their community. This “Rural Climate Dialogue” is open to the public and is being organized by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and the Jefferson Center. The jury, a randomly selected but demographically representative group of 15 citizens, will have access to resources and experts to produce their own independent recommendations that respond to the Morris’ community needs, priorities, concerns and values. Morris High School students helped assemble data for the meeting through a series...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Categories: Planet Not For Sale

On Fifth Anniversary of Peru FTA Bagua Massacre of Indigenous Protestors, State Department Cables Published on Wikileaks Reveal U.S. Role

Eyes on Trade - 9 June, 2014 - 19:49

Now, Obama Administration Seeks to Further Expand the Foreign Investor Privileges That Led to Amazon Standoff Via the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact

On the fifth anniversary of a deadly confrontation in Peru spurred by controversial policies enacted to comply with the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Amazon Watch and Public Citizen expressed extreme concern over recently revealed U.S. diplomatic cables showing the U.S. government’s role in the violence that resulted in the deaths of at least 32 people.

On June 5, 2009, Peruvian security forces attacked several thousand indigenous Awajun and Wambis protestors, including many women and children, who were blocking the “Devil's Curve,” a jungle highway near Bagua, 600 miles north of Lima. The protestors were demanding revocation of decrees providing new access to exploit their Amazonian lands for oil, gas and logging that had been enacted to conform Peruvian law to FTA requirements.

“The Bagua massacre is emblematic of how so-called free trade agreements enable an environment in which governments trample the basic rights of grassroots communities while promoting the destruction of natural resources,” said Atossa Soltani, founder and executive director of Amazon Watch. “Instead of defending the constitutional rights of Peru’s indigenous peoples, the U.S. government apparently encouraged the Peruvian government to steamroll the people protecting their land from exploitation.”

Public Citizen received only heavily redacted diplomatic cables in response to a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the U.S. role in the 2009 Peruvian crisis over FTA implementation. But now WikiLeaks has published the full text of messages between the State Department and the embassy in Lima.

Four days before the killings, a cable addressed the growing indigenous protests, stating, “Should Congress and [Peruvian] President Garcia give in to the pressure, there would be implications for the recently implemented Peru-US Free Trade Agreement.” This mirrored public comment by Peruvian government officials who argued that acceding to indigenous demands to annul controversial new laws would doom the entire FTA.

U.S. officials argued that the Peruvian government was being too lenient by allowing the indigenous roadblocks to continue. “The government's reluctance to use force to clear roads and blockades is contributing to the impression that the communities have broader support than they actually do,” the cable read.

On the day of the killings, the U.S. Embassy in Lima sought to justify the government’s actions, stating in another cable that the security forces in Bagua had “reluctantly chosen to enforce the rule of law.” Unacknowledged was the fact that the groups blocking the road at the “Devil’s Curve” had expressed their intention to demobilize on June 5 starting around midday. The Peruvian riot police went in that morning at the break of dawn.

In a letter sent on June 12, 2009, 15 nongovernmental organizations urged the Obama administration to speak out publicly against the violent repression and to state that repeal or reform of the controversial laws would not conflict with Peru’s obligations under the FTA. No public statement was issued.

What has become known as the “Amazon’s Tiananmen” brought the realities of the U.S.-Peru FTA into sharp relief. Rather than being a new trade agreement model, as it was sold, at the FTA’s heart were the same extreme investor rights that animated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“The fifth anniversary of the Peru FTA Bagua massacre is a most appropriate time to reconsider the U.S. approach to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “The U.S.-Peru FTA makes clear even improved labor and environmental chapters cannot overcome the NAFTA-style investor protections at the core of the Peru FTA and now TPP.”

When Congress passed the U.S.-Peru FTA in late 2007, a majority of House Democrats opposed the deal. And no labor, environmental, consumer, family farm or faith group supported it. While Democratic House trade committee leaders had forced some improvements with respect to access to medicine and the FTA’s labor and environmental chapters, the pact included an expansion of NAFTA-style investor privileges.

The FTA’s foreign investor privileges were demonstrated when a U.S. firm pressured Peru’s government to reopen a smelter that had severely poisoned hundreds of children in La Oroya, Peru with lead – a story revealed in a Bloomberg exposé.

Now the Obama administration is pushing for inclusion of the same extreme foreign investor privileges in the TPP it is negotiating with Peru and 10 other Pacific Rim countries.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Measuring Success: Local Food Systems and the Need for New Indicators

Language:  English IATP author(s):  IATP File:  indicators-web.pdf In agriculture, policymakers, analysts and researchers often use a set of indicators to assess whether a farming system, or new technology, is succeeding. The most common indicators focus on increasing “yield,” often of a singular crop or animal unit, within large-scale production systems. The use of indicators focused almost exclusively on production helps to shape scientific research and public policy. But just as weight alone is not a good measure of human health, a single-minded focus on production is an inadequate measure of the health of a farming system. So long as yields are high, this narrow focus supports the illusion that our agricultural system is meeting the nutrition, health, environmental...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Chamber Resorts to Cartoonish Analogies to Defend Corporations’ ‘Right’ to Attack Policies

Eyes on Trade - 30 May, 2014 - 17:21

What do you do when you lose an argument on the basis of, you know, facts?  

You use fantastical analogies to substantiate your battered claims.  At least, that appears to be the game plan of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

In a blog post yesterday, the corporate conglomerate tried once again to defend a system that empowers foreign corporations to bypass our courts, go before three private lawyers unaccountable to any electorate, and demand that the U.S. Treasury hand over our tax dollars for policies ranging from Wall Street reforms to climate change initiatives.  “Trade” deals currently under negotiation, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), would vastly expand this extraordinary “investor-state” system. 

How did the Chamber address widespread concerns over the proposed empowerment of tens of thousands of foreign corporations to have a go at our domestic laws?  By comparing them to childhood fears of a monster in the closet. 

(See, there are no monsters in your closet.  By the rule of analogies, there is therefore no problem with enabling corporations to more easily attack our health and environmental protections.  Got it?)  

The Chamber’s post concludes with this kicker: “The next time someone comes peddling fear of ISDS [investor-state dispute settlement], ask this simple question: ‘Can you cite an ISDS case where the investor won but didn’t deserve compensation?’ Expect to hear silence in return.” 

“Silence” is a creative way to characterize academics’ and advocates’ years of detailed analysis of case after case in which corporations have extracted taxpayer compensation for public interest policies.  On the basis of such cases, voices ranging from former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg to the National Council of State Legislatures to the CATO Institute to thousands of concerned citizens have warned of the threats that expansion of the extreme investor-state regime via the TPP and TAFTA would pose to public health, a clean environment, rule of law, and taxpayers’ wallets.  (Oh, and the nation’s largest labor, environmental, health, privacy, Internet freedom, financial, development, family farmer, faith and consumer groups have also spotlighted the record of investor-state damage.)  Chamber’s claim of “silence” is deaf to these warnings from across the political spectrum.

To answer Chamber’s question –- whether we can cite an “investor-state” case where a three-person tribunal unjustly ordered a government to pay a foreign corporation for a policy enacted in the public’s interest –- indeed, we can.  The main difficulty is choosing from the panoply of available cases

What about the case where a tribunal ordered Canadian taxpayers to pay millions to a waste treatment corporation for preventing the firm from exporting to Ohio a hazardous waste that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found to be harmful to humans and toxic to the environment?

Or the one where an investor-state tribunal ordered Mexico to pay a corporation more than $16 million for not allowing the firm to build a toxic waste facility until it cleaned up existing toxic waste problems?

Or take the case that Occidental Petroleum won against Ecuador in 2012. The tribunal in that case acknowledged that the oil corporation had broken an Ecuadorian law governing oil exploration in the Amazon.  But then the tribunal concocted a new governmental obligation to Occidental, decided the government had violated this unwritten obligation despite adhering to Ecuadorian law, and ordered Ecuador’s taxpayers to hand $2.3 billion to the oil company.  One of the three lawyers in the tribunal dissented, describing the decision as “egregious.”  That didn’t remove the penalty imposed on Ecuador by her two colleagues. 

The Chamber tries to downplay the amounts that taxpayers have to shell out to foreign firms when governments lose investor-state cases, arguing that the corporations often get “a fraction” of what they ask for.  But when corporations ask for billions, a “fraction” is no chump change.  In the Occidental case, the $2.3 billion penalty imposed on Ecuador’s taxpayers is equivalent to the amount the government spends on health care each year for half the population. 

The Chamber’s post also tried to minimize the investor-state system’s costly legacy by wrongly stating that “governments comfortably win in the vast majority of [investor-state] cases.”  The U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reports that in 57 percent of all public, concluded investor-state cases, the government has either lost the case to the investor or has been pushed to settle with the investor, typically resulting in the extraction of millions of taxpayer dollars and/or the overturning of the policy that the corporation challenged.  In recent cases, governments have been outright losing most of the time.  In seven out of eight public decisions handed down by investor-state tribunals last year, the government lost.  That’s hardly a “comfortable” record.

And those are only the cases that have already been decided.  Investor-state claims have surged in recent years, resulting in pending cases that target everything from Australia’s anti-smoking policies to Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  While the Chamber tries to claim that “relatively few” cases have been launched in the “nearly half a century” of the investor-state regime, that argument requires closing one’s eyes to the recent wave of cases.  While no more than 15 cases were launched in any given year in the first four decades of the “nearly half a century” of investor-state treaties, more than 50 cases have been launched in each of the last three years.  Pending cases include:

  • Chevron v. Ecuador: in response to Chevron’s attempt to evade a $9.5 billion domestic ruling for Amazon pollution, an investor-state tribunal has directed Ecuador’s government to violate its Constitution, has cast aside two decades of court rulings, and has declared that rights granted to Ecuadorians no longer exist.
  • Eli Lilly v. Canada: a U.S. pharmaceutical corporation has challenged Canada’s legal standard for patents and pushed for greater monopoly patent protections, which increase the cost of medicines for consumers and governments. 
  • Renco v. Peru: a U.S. corporation has tried to evade its contractual commitment to clean up its metal smelter contamination in one of the world’s most polluted towns.

The flood of recent investor-state attacks on domestic safeguards owes largely to the fact that tribunals are interpreting ever more broadly the vague investor-state “rights” granted to foreign corporations.  Contrary to the Chamber’s assertions, these rights extend beyond those afforded to domestic firms.  Under U.S. law, a coal corporation, for example, could not invoke a right to government compensation for new carbon emissions controls –- such as those the administration plans to roll out on Monday –- on the basis that the new policy frustrated the firm’s “expectations.”  But investor-state tribunals have repeatedly decided that foreign firms, under investor-state pacts, indeed enjoy a “right” to a static regulatory framework that does not thwart their expectations.  

And of course, if a U.S. firm takes issue with a new U.S. environmental or financial or health regulation, the corporation cannot skirt the entire U.S. domestic legal system and take its case to a private three-person extrajudicial tribunal empowered to order the U.S. Treasury to compensate the firm, with limited option for appeal.  But that is precisely the privilege granted to foreign corporations under the investor-state system’s extraordinary terms. 

Comparing this system to fictitious beasts inhabiting one’s closet will not make it go away.  To highlight the dangers posed by this regime and its proposed expansion via the TPP and TAFTA, we need not resort to far-fetched analogies.  The damage already wrought will suffice. 

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

WTO Final Ruling: European Ban on Products from Inhumane Seal Harvest Violates WTO Rules

Eyes on Trade - 22 May, 2014 - 16:58

Statement of Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

The WTO today added fuzzy white baby seals clubbed to death on bloody ice flows to dolphins and sea turtles as animals that the WTO has declared cannot be protected by domestic laws because they  violate “trade” rules, which will just fuel public and policymaker skepticism about these so-called trade deals. 

As a technical matter, today’s ruling confirms the uselessness of the WTO exceptions, allegedly designed to protect countries’ domestic public interest laws, that are now being touted as the way to safeguard environmental, health and safety policies in proposed pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is the 39th time out of 40 attempted uses that the exception has been rejected by WTO tribunals when raised to safeguard a domestic public interest law.

BACKGROUND: In this final ruling, the WTO Appellate Body acknowledged that the European Union’s ban on the importation and sale of seal products resulted from concerns about “inhumane” hunts with “inherent animal welfare risks,” but concluded the EU failed to satisfy the litany of conditions required to defend public interest policies under the WTO’s “general exception” provisions. Specifically, the Appellate Body ruled against use of the WTO exception for policies “necessary” to protect public morals. Only one out of 40 government attempts to use the the WTO General Exceptionse, found in Article XX of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and Article XIV of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), has ever succeeded.

In its ruling today, the Appellate Body also rebuffed arguments made by the U.S. government as a third party observer to the case demanding that the WTO evaluate whether policies that appear to have a discriminatory effect stem from a “legitimate regulatory distinction.” The Appellate Body ruled against this U.S. government position, concluding that WTO panels do not need to consider under GATT whether a challenged domestic policy stems from a legitimate policy objective.

Today’s ruling follows a string of WTO rulings against popular U.S. environmental and consumer policies. In May 2012, for example, the WTO ruled against voluntary “dolphin-safe” tuna labels that, by allowing consumers to choose to buy tuna caught without dolphin-killing fishing practices, have helped to dramatically reduce dolphin deaths. Today’s decision will again spur public ire over WTO rules that extend beyond “trade” to target domestic environmental and consumer safeguards.

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

On Eve of ‘Check In’ Ministerial, Top 10 Signs That Obama Administration Should Call It Quits on TPP Negotiations

Eyes on Trade - 20 May, 2014 - 12:07

Twenty-one Multilateral TPP Meetings Since ‘Final’ August 2013 Brunei Negotiating Round, All Without Even a Facade of Stakeholder Input Process 

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) worked to spin down expectations for a May 19-20 ministerial-level meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) even before last week’s TPP chief negotiators meeting in Vietnam that failed to resolve deadlocks on the myriad outstanding TPP issues.

While 600 official U.S. trade advisors, mainly comprised of corporate representatives, have continued to obtain information and give input on TPP negotiations, the last opportunity for official “stakeholder” input into the TPP took place August 24–31, 2013, during the 19th round of negotiations in Brunei. However, heads of state, negotiators and ministers have continued to meet in an attempt to finalize a TPP. Without even the pretense of providing opportunities for civil society to engage in the process, in the past nine months, TPP countries have had at least one heads-of-state summit, two ministerials, four meetings of chief negotiators, 14 so-called “intersessionals,” four Obama bilateral heads of state meetings and endless U.S.-Japan bilateral negotiations and ministerials. And these are only the meetings that have been reported.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to use large sums of taxpayer money to push negotiations to obtain a TPP agenda favored by corporate interests that remains stalled in the face of growing opposition in the United States and throughout TPP countries. The U.S. government was the official host of the Vietnam meeting this week and will be the official host of the upcoming ministerial meeting in Singapore.

Following are the top 10 indicators of why the USTR has decided to tamp down expectations once again for a negotiation that has supposedly been in an “end game” since last year:

1)     U.S. and Japanese officials have offered conflicting versions of the outcomes of their bilateral “breakthrough”-but-not-a-deal non-deal from Obama’s Japan visit when briefing their TPP colleagues. Indeed, Japan was among the countries arguing that the state of U.S.-Japan market access negotiations was not sufficiently advanced to merit another TPP ministerial meeting.

2)     An LDP bloc in Japan’s Diet adopted another resolution last week, while TPP chief negotiators met in Vietnam, reiterating the ruling party’s requirement that the TPP must protect a list of “sacred” agricultural commodities. The Japanese parliamentary action by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s own political party, making clear it will not support a TPP that zeroes out agricultural tariffs, is seen as a direct response to U.S. congressional and agribusiness statements that only a TPP that does so is politically acceptable.

3)     Vietnam’s former trade minister, who is a current senior advisor on TPP negotiations, recently declared that Vietnam would not accept a TPP requirement that workers be allowed to establish independent labor unions.Former MinisterTruong Dinh Tuyen said Vietnam instead would accept a compromise that devolved some power to local unions.

4)     U.S. trade officials announced that Japan would advance market access talks with other TPP nations at the Vietnam lead negotiators meeting and that this was a sign of a new stage in negotiations – except that is not what Japan intended or did. Other countries are unlikely to even consider high-stakes tradeoffs relating to U.S. demands that could raise drug prices, extend the scope of investor-state dispute liability, limit financial regulation, discipline state-owned enterprises, and enforce labor and environmental standards without knowing what prospective market access opportunities might be forthcoming.

5)     On May 1, the Sultan of Brunei implemented a new Sharia-law-based penal code that calls for jail terms for the wearing of immodest clothing, pregnancies outside marriage and abortion, with death by stoning for adulterers, gays and lesbians to be phased in later. The move prompted new U.S. constituencies to join the anti-TPP effort.

6)     The USTR’s concern that the optics of not having a TPP ministerial when all of the countries’ trade ministers are together for a pre-scheduled APEC meeting overcomes opposition by other TPP nations to meeting when there is nothing ready for ministers to decide. Thus, the announcement of a “check-in” ministerial, which ministers from at least three TPP nations do not plan to attend.

7)     Japanese officials or press are creating a series of red herring stories. Reports of near-deals on intellectual property, new U.S. proposals and more do not relate to what happened on the ground in Vietnam. Indeed, the Japanese press has run a series of follow-up stories speculating about who is generating the misdirects and why. There is no indication that key areas of controversy that existed in previous ministerials in the areas of intellectual property, investment, environment, labor, state-owned enterprises and more are much closer to resolution, even after the expense of the past months of negotiations. The U.S. ambassador to Malaysia recently expressed hope that the deal might be concluded by 2017.

8)     The USTR continues to avoid raising currency issues at chiefs or ministerial levels, even though it is increasingly clear that a TPP without enforceable currency rules is dead on arrival in the U.S. Congress. If negotiations were nearing a final deal, this issue would have to be raised; Congress’ outspoken position has made clear to the other TPP nations that either this issue will be raised in negotiations or it will be raised later as an additional demand after ‘final’ concessions have been made, as was seen in the Korea Free Trade Agreement renegotiation four years after signing.

9)     The prospect of passage of any form of trade authority in 2014 is dimming. Indeed, some congressional Fast Track proponents are already talking about the prospect that President Barack Obama may never obtain trade authority, so they are setting their sights on 2017.As the other TPP countries recognize the lack of congressional support for Fast Track and TPP, their willingness to make U.S.-negotiator-demanded concessions on issues with high political costs at home also dims.

10)  In April, Chile’s Trade Ministry under recently elected President Michelle Bachelet confirmed that it is conducting a comprehensive review of the scope of the TPP and what its impact could be for Chile, noting that it is initiating a process of transparency and openness in the negotiations to include civil society input into their review. The website states, “We consider that there are many issues that are still open, the negotiation still has a ways to go.”

For more information about the TPP, please visit http://citizen.org/tpp

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

10 reasons TTIP is bad for good food and farming

Language:  English IATP author(s):  Shefali Sharma File:  2014_05_16_10ReasonsTTIP_SS.pdf The United States and the European Union have launched negotiations on a new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): a free trade agreement that aims to “harmonize” standards and regulations in both regions to expand corporate profits. However, the regulations in question are critical to creating more sustainable, healthy food systems in Europe and in the United States. In May 2013, over 20 agribusiness industry groups—particularly from the meat, dairy and grain industries—submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office outlining their clear interests in TTIP. Agribusiness on both sides is pushing to rollback regulations that hinder their...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Categories: Planet Not For Sale

Second Anniversary of Colombia Pact Spotlights Administration's Failed Promise of Labor Rights Improvements, Now Recycled to Defend TPP Negotiations with Vietnam amid Worker Riots

Eyes on Trade - 15 May, 2014 - 15:34

Today, as foreign-owned factories in Vietnam lie smoldering after protesting Vietnamese workers burnt them to the ground, Obama administration officials are in Vietnam negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact that would place U.S. workers in direct competition with their Vietnamese counterparts. 

While politics provided the spark for Vietnam’s recent worker riots, the country’s notorious working conditions fanned the flames.  According to the U.S. government, the International Labour Organization, and workers' rights groups, those conditions include “children working nine to 12 hours per day for low pay in hazardous working conditions,” forced labor, discrimination against pregnant women, blocked fire exits, prohibition of independent unions, and minimum wages dwarfed by those paid in China.

Members of Congress, U.S. labor unions and human rights groups have made clear that the U.S. government should not be contemplating a pact with a country where workers’ rights are systematically violated. 

That same argument motivated widespread opposition to the U.S.- Colombia “free trade” agreement (FTA), which took effect two years ago today. 

The Colombia pact was implemented despite warnings from Congress and labor groups that U.S. workers should not be pitted against workers in a country consistently listed as the world’s most dangerous place to be a unionist.  The Obama administration helped push the FTA through the U.S. Congress over record Democratic opposition with promises that the gross workers’ rights violations in Colombia would wane under the FTA.  The administration declared that a Labor Action Plan (LAP) signed with Colombia in 2011 as a fig leaf for the FTA would “lead to greatly enhanced labor rights in Colombia.”

After two years of FTA implementation, that promise rings hollow as Colombia’s unionists face persistent murders, death threats, and repression. 

Now, in response to growing opposition to the notion of a TPP pact with Vietnam, the Obama administration is conjuring up the same failed promise, asserting that working conditions in Vietnam will improve under the pact. 

Members of Congress are not likely to buy the recycled pitch, as the two-year anniversary of the Colombia FTA spotlights the harrowing violence still faced by Colombia’s union workers. Colombia’s National Union School, recognized by the LAP as an authoritative source of monitoring data, reports that:

  • In the three years since the LAP was unveiled, 73 Colombian unionists have been murdered.  There were four more unionist murders in 2013 than in 2012.
  • Colombia’s union workers have endured 31 murder attempts and 953 death threats since the LAP was announced.  These crimes have not resulted in any captures, trials, or convictions.
  • More than 3,000 unionists have been murdered in Colombia since 1977. The overall impunity rate for these murders is 87%.
  • Since 1977, Colombian unionists have received 6,262 recorded death threats.  Only 4 of these threats have been punished, meaning that impunity for anti-union death threats stands at 99.9%.

Undeterred by the ongoing repression of Colombian workers, U.S. trade negotiators are in Vietnam at this very moment in attempt to negotiate via the TPP an expansion of the FTA model to Vietnam, despite the country’s widespread labor abuses.  Under the TPP, U.S. workers would be placed into direct competition with Vietnamese workers facing these on-the-ground realities:

  • Child labor:  According to the Vietnam government’s own estimates, more than 25,000 Vietnamese children work in hazardous conditions.  The U.S. State Department reports that Vietnam government inspectors have found “children working nine to 12 hours per day for low pay in hazardous working conditions (including poor lighting, dusty environments, and the operation of heavy machinery)…”
  • Forced labor:  Individuals detained, but not convicted, for drug offenses are required to work for little to no pay in government detention centers as part of their “treatment,” according Human Rights Watch and the State Department.  Vietnam is one of just four countries in the world cited by the U.S. Department of Labor for using both forced labor and child labor in apparel production.
  • Low wages:  Vietnam’s average minimum wage is 52 cents per hour.  That’s a fraction of minimum wages even in China.  And it’s one-fourteenth of the earnings of U.S. minimum wage workers who would be pitted against their Vietnamese counterparts. 
  • Unsafe working conditions:  The International Labour Organization reports that even after inspecting Vietnamese garment factories on three occasions for fire hazards, 41% of the inspected factories still had inaccessible or blocked fire exits. 
  • Violations of women’s rights:  Vietnamese factories have employed several discriminatory methods to try to avoid the legal obligation to provide paid maternity leave to pregnant workers. Last year the Vietnamese press revealed that one factory required female workers to sign a contract vowing not to get pregnant for their first three years of employment. 
  • Union repression:  Vietnam bans independent unions.  Workers wishing to organize for their rights must affiliate their union with the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, a self-described “member of the political system under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.”  The Worker Rights Consortium reports that Vietnamese workers attempting to form independent unions have been “subjected to sustained campaigns of prosecution and imprisonment.” 

In the face of such entrenched labor abuses, it is incredible that the administration is trotting out the same message used for the Colombia FTA: “Don’t worry –- workers’ conditions will improve once the FTA is in place.”  After two years of the Colombia deal, Colombia’s workers sadly beg to differ.  

Categories: Planet Not For Sale

The State of the States on Climate Adaptation

Subtitle:  Analysis of State Climate Adaptation Plans Related to Food and Agriculture Language:  English Author(s) (external):  Zack Robbins File:  2014_05_06_AdaptationPlans_ZR.pdf Foreward As the impacts of climate change become increasingly apparent, society is becoming more serious about the need to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and begin preparing for a changing climate. The needs are profound—practically every area of our economy and society will be impacted and we need comprehensive plans that address multiple areas of concern. Among these sectors, agriculture and food production are arguably the most important areas for adaptation. As IATP has detailed in past...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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
Currently accepting signatories:  Accept signatories

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