|Chile: Santiago Signs Free Trade Deal with US|
by Elliott Gotkine, BBC
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 Capdevila, Inter 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 Capdevila, lnter 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.
|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 Reuters, The 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 Jonquires, Financial 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 Valente, Inter 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 Sterngold, San 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 Mekay, Inter 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.
|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.
|US: Bush May Use Trade Pacts for Iraq Leverage|
by Paul Blustein, Washington 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 Osava, Inter 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 Mekay, InterPress 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.
|JAPAN: Tokyo Meeting Aims To Boost Flagging WTO|
by Katharine Millar, Agence France Presse
February 12th, 2003
Trade ministers gather in Tokyo on Friday for a three-day meeting to try to step up the pace of flagging global trade talks, beset by failed deadlines and a lack of progress. Only 25 of the 145 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been invited to send ministers to the February 14-16 "mini-ministerial". Their task: to thrash out ideas for giving a boost to negotiations, mainly on greater market access in services, industrial goods and the traditionally-thorniest subject of agriculture.