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Iraq: Amec Deal Saves UK from Embarrassment
by Terry MacalisterGuardian (London)
March 25th, 2004
Amec has won part of a $1bn (550m) contract to rebuild water and sewerage networks in Iraq. The deal is the biggest so far by a UK company for reconstruction work in the war-torn country, but otherwise British firms have lost out.

Chile: Santiago Signs Free Trade Deal with US
by Elliott GotkineBBC
September 17th, 2003

On 3 September, eight days before the country was due to mark 30 years since the military coup that ushered in 17 years of rule by General Augusto Pinochet, the United States approved a long-awaited free trade agreement with its South American neighbour.

World: Rich and Poor Clash Over Farm Aid
September 12th, 2003
The Group of 21 (G21), which includes China, India and Brazil, has threatened the traditional dominance of rich countries during world trade talks in Cancun, Mexico. The G21 is demanding the complete abolition of subsidies paid by rich countries to their farmers which, they say, locks the developing world out of international markets.

SWITZERLAND: Transnationals Urge Flexibility from Rich Nations
by Gustavo CapdevilaInter Press Service
August 22nd, 2003
An organisation of transnational corporate executives urged the United States, European Union and Japan to cede to some of the demands of developing countries -- particularly in regards to agriculture and drugs patents -- in order to jump-start the WTO trade liberalisation talks

WORLD: A Month from Cancun, WTO and Critics Rev Their Engines
by Gustavo Capdevilalnter Press Service
August 12th, 2003
International trade negotiations this week enter the final stretch before the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico, with the first signs of progress in the otherwise troubled agricultural talks and announcements of new mobilizations by groups opposed to the multilateral trade system.

PHILIPPINES: VP Advises Protecting Farmers from Excesses of Trade Liberalization
July 10th, 2003
Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr. said the Philippines must adopt a firm policy to protect its agricultural and service sectors from the negative impact of excessive liberalization of tariffs and related policies mandated by its obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

China: US Bosses Step Up Yuan Row
June 18th, 2003

A powerful industrial lobbying group is calling on the US government to take China to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over its fixed exchange rate policy. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has said it plans to file a trade complaint with the US Trade Representative, which would force trade officials to consider an official response.

Brazil, India and South Africa: Form G3 to counter G8
by ReutersThe Hindu
June 7th, 2003
Brazil, India and South Africa have formed a trilateral bloc to boost trade and pool their political muscle in talks with rich nations. The new grouping follows soon after the G8 meeting of major industrial nations failed to act on a proposal for subsidy cuts to help Africa and a Brazilian plan to create a global fund to fight hunger.

FRANCE: The G8 Summit: Leaders Paper Over Cracks on WTO Talks
by Robert Graham, James Blitz and Guy de JonquiresFinancial Times
June 3rd, 2003
The Group of Eightmembers yesterday committed themselves to concluding the stalled Doha world trade round on schedule by the end of next year, but hinted at no shifts in negotiating positions that could lead to progress in the talks.

Latin America: Churches Call for Alternative to Free Market
by Marcela ValenteInter Press Service
May 2nd, 2003
BUENOS AIRES-- Leaders of Protestant churches of Latin America, tired of alleviating social problems that they blame on neo-liberal free market policies, have decided to advance their own alternative proposals to governments and the multilateral lending institutions.

Middle East: U.S. Hopes to Pry Open Region's Economies
by James SterngoldSan Francisco Chronicle
April 16th, 2003
Bush administration officials have been clear in saying that as the war winds down and they begin their campaign to bring political reform to Iraq and the Middle East, a critical step will be opening the region's markets to trade and investment.

Central America: Free Trade Deal a Dud, Activists Say
by Emad MekayInter Press Service
April 10th, 2003
WASHINGTON, Apr. 10 (IPS) -- Activists from labor, development, human rights and farm groups are calling on the United States and five Central American countries not to rush a trade agreement that they say is undemocratic and would drive farmers and other vulnerable groups deeper into poverty.

VIETNAM: Country Jolted Over Trademark Debacle
by Tran Dinh Thanh LamInter Press Service
April 8th, 2003
Socialist Vietnam is starting to learn the ways of capitalism as its products enter the global market.

PHILIPPINES: People's Congress Urges Land, Food Without Poisons
Envinroment News Service
April 7th, 2003
Agricultural workers and their families are being poisoned, rural lands, forests, oceans and waters are devastated, biodiversity is being destroyed, and food is unfit for human consumption. With these words, 140 participants from 17 countries at the First Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific Congress in Manila last week warned the world that industrial agriculture as conducted by transnational corporations is undermining the resources needed to sustain food production.

CENTRAL AMERICA: Experts, Citizens Fear Economic Fallout of Iraq War
by Nfer MuozInter Press Service
March 21st, 2003
Ral Carballo, a nearly-blind street vendor in the capital of Costa Rica, is just one of the 4.3 million Central Americans working in the informal economy who have already begun to feel the indirect effects of the war on Iraq.

US: Bush May Use Trade Pacts for Iraq Leverage
by Paul BlusteinWashington Post
March 18th, 2003
Maybe it's just a coincidence that the Commerce Department announced decisions in recent days to confer "market-based-economy" status on Bulgaria and Romania, two Eastern European countries that support President Bush's tough stance on Iraq.

BRAZIL: Weakened Trade Unions Look to Lula for Help
by Mario OsavaInter Press Service
March 12th, 2003
Trade unions proliferated in Brazil from 1991 to 2001, but their power did not keep in step, says a report that is fuelling debate now that the nation's president is a man was a unionist himself, former metalworker Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

World: Prior Informed Consent: Asbestos, Pesticides, Lead
Environmental News Service
March 11th, 2003
An international list of chemicals subject to trade controls will expand to include all forms of asbestos, three pesticides, and two forms of lead if recommendations made by a committee of government appointed experts is approved under the Rotterdam Convention. The international treaty requires exporting countries trading in a list of hazardous substances to obtain the prior informed consent of importing countries before proceeding with the trade.

Mali: Doubts Grow About Debt Relief
by Emad MekayInterPress News Service
March 10th, 2003
International creditors of Mali have agreed to cancel $675 million of its debt over time under a controversial debt relief scheme, rewarding the West African nation for its pro-free market economic restructuring plan, they say.

EGYPT: Cairo Offers to Host WTO Mini-Ministerial Meeting in June
by Daniel PruzinWTO Reporter
March 4th, 2003
Egypt is eyeing a late June date to host the next World Trade Organization "mini-ministerial" meeting, Egyptian officials told BNA February 28.

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