Trade News — August/September 2006


WTO Expansion Talks Derailed; Focus Shifts
to Bad Bilateral Trade Deals

Dear Supporter,

On July 24th, the director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) indefinitely suspended the "Doha Round" WTO expansion talks. The mainstream media and U.S. and European officials have been pointing fingers at each other and at other countries, playing a "blame game" aimed at distracting attention from the real reasons the talks collapsed: since the 2001 launch of the Doha Round talks, major differences have only grown more pronounced between the involved countries regarding the proper objectives and direction of the WTO. The United States, Europe and a few others were able to impose a WTO expansion agenda. But, based on the lived experiences of the WTO's outcomes, a majority of the signatory countries sought to repair the existing WTO course.

With WTO expansion talks derailed thanks to your work, the Bush administration will redouble its efforts to pass more bad NAFTA expansion agreements like those with Peru and Colombia. Take action now!

Global civil society is celebrating the derailment of the WTO expansion talks. For more background on the ramifications of the Doha Round suspension, take a look at this Common Dreams article by Global Trade Watch's Lori Wallach and Deborah James. While the collapse of the Doha Round is great news for now, it also likely means that the Bush administration will redouble its efforts push an attempt to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to Peru. Those of us fighting for global justice need to stay focused on the "pea" no matter what "shell" it's slipped under in the corporate globalization shell game! So, having smashed one shell — WTO expansion — it's time to shift 100 percent to the next fight.

It's now time to take action to derail the U.S.-Peru NAFTA expansion agreement! Contact your representative and senators to engage them with your concerns.

The Bush administration may push to pass the U.S.-Peru NAFTA expansion when Congress returns from its August recess. This is another cookie-cutter NAFTA expansion — no enforceable labor protections and new rights for corporations to challenge domestic health and environmental laws and to jack up drug prices. It would lead to even more lost U.S. jobs and contribute to the growing U.S. trade deficit, and it threatens the Peruvian Amazon basin — one of the most bio-diverse and environmentally sensitive areas on earth.

Please contact your representative and both of your senators to urge them to make public commitments now to oppose this new NAFTA expansion.

Thank you for all you have done to help derail the harmful WTO expansion negotiations and create a hotly-contested debate over the Oman Free Trade Agreement. We should all take a second to celebrate and congratulate ourselves. Now we need to focus on derailing the Bush administration's latest push for expansion of the NAFTA model!

When we dispose of these latest NAFTA expansion attempts, we can move on to changing how U.S. trade policy is made — more on that later.

Thank you for all that you do,

Your friends at Global Trade Watch

Activist Spotlight

Anita de Palma is the Florida State Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Her state chapter's resolution opposing the U.S.-Peru and Colombia FTAs was passed unanimously at the LULAC National Convention. Read Anita's story and send her a note of thanks — and sign our petition on NAFTA expansion and immigration.


More Headlines from GTW

  • Largest U.S. Latino Civil Rights Group Opposes Peru and Colombia FTAs: LULAC, the nation's oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization, unanimously passed a resolution at its July national convention rejecting the U.S.-Peru and U.S.-Colombia FTAs. Read the resolution here (PDF).
  • State and Local Actions on Global Trade: Are you active in state politics? Some of the most successful progressive trade policy initiatives have been done at the state level. Check out "The State of Global Trade," our newsletter that is a key tool for advancing progressive state legislation on trade and connecting with trade justice campaigners working in your state house.
  • Rockin' New College Trade Justice Campaign: Are you a student? Know students who care about fair trade and global justice? Get involved with the Student Trade Justice Campaign!
  • New Book — "Take This Job and Ship It": Want to read a very accessible, compelling take on the disaster that is U.S. trade policy? Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America, by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), a champion for fair trade since the 1980s, says it all. Read a review at the Washington Post.
  • The Oman FTA's Unintended Consequences: The passage of the Oman FTA could exacerbate instability in the Middle East. Read Stephen Zunes of Foreign Policy in Focus' op-ed on OFTA's foreign policy ramifications.

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