Posts Tagged ‘trade agreements’

Equal Exchange joins a large number of organizations who are asking President-elect Obama to re-negotiate our trade agreements to ensure that all trade is fair trade, putting people and the planet over profits.

Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 5, 2009


Nearly 60 organizations and networks sent a letter to President-elect Obama  urging him to follow through on his campaign pledge to renegotiate NAFTA as a first step towards crafting an alternative trade model that puts people and the environment first over the profits of global corporations. 

“Our letter outlines the areas we think need the most urgent attention,” said Tom Loudon of the Quixote Center. “Based on many years of work, we have identified ten priority areas: agriculture, energy, foreign investment, financial services, the role of the State in the provision of services, employment, migration, environment, intellectual property rights and dispute settlement provisions.”

“To be effective, any new approach to trade must take into account that agriculture and food are unique and should not fall under the same trade rules as TV sets,” said Dennis Olson of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). “Countries must have the policy flexibility to address the current global food crisis.”

Earlier this year, many of us were part of a three country effort which drafted a policy proposal entitled NAFTA Must be Renegotiated; A Proposal from North America Civil Society Networks,” Loudon continued.  “We envision new relationships between our countries that establish economic relations based on social justice within a paradigm of sustainable development.”


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Most of us can agree that political democracies, based on equality and individual freedoms, are the best systems of government in the world today. We know that democratic countries are the least likely to go to war with each other; they suffer from the fewest internal conflicts, the lowest counts of terrorism, and the lowest number of human rights violations. It’s also very clear that democratic political systems are the most fertile grounds for economic prosperity; the countries that rank highest on the United Nations Democracy Index also head the Human Development Index. Freedom, equality and prosperity appear to go hand-in-hand.  Why then, do we only apply the principles of the democracy to politics, and not the economy?

The global economy is one of the most undemocratic and inequitable systems imaginable. In 2000, the UN estimates that 10% of the world’s richest adults control 85% of the world’s wealth. According to Forbes, the three richest people in the world control as much wealth as the poorest 47 countries combined. Almost 3 billion people live on $2 a day or less, while the average American lives on $119. The Royal Bank of Scotland controls more assets than the entire GDP of Brazil. Wal-Mart is richer than Thailand. (more…)

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