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2014-03-12  |  Janet Eaton

Pakistan government is revisiting all the Free Trade Agreements and Preferential Trade Agreements.

There is a growing realisation among policymakers that they had been poorly negotiated and were now causing harm to the domestic industry.

Ministry of Commerce and Textile Industry officials in Islamabad told Dawn newspaper on Tuesday that the government might even go for total scrapping of all these trade agreements.

They said, however, proper working would be made in case the government opted for renegotiation.

Pakistan so far has signed four FTAs under South Asia Free Trade Agreement with China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India. Besides, there are three PTAs with Iran, Mauritius and Indonesia.

Officials said these agreements were making some of country’s imports costlier due to monopolistic tendencies created by them against cheaper sources of supplies from other countries of the world market.

...

2014-03-12  |  Janet Eaton

By Michael McAuliff, March 11th, 2014. Huffington Post. 

WASHINGTON -- A report due to be released Tuesday aims to offer an object lesson to President Barack Obama: Free trade deals have high costs in unintended consequences for the environment, people's way of life, and local sovereignty.

The report by the Sierra Club and other groups in Canada and Mexico, released on the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, summarizes more than 100 nonprofit, government and scholarly studies of NAFTA, and draws a damning picture.

Perhaps hardest hit is Mexico, according to the report, where expanded trade in agricultural products came at the expense of smaller farmers, who couldn't compete with a surge in pesticide-heavy factory farms. Small farmers resorted to cutting down forests to farm more land, and still failed. A boom in mining came at the expense of local landowners, with subsequent industrial pollution.

While the trade deal was...

2014-03-12  |  Janet Eaton

WASHINGTON - March 11 - A massive free trade deal went into effect 20 years ago and has had very harmful effects on communities and the environment in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, according to a report released today.

January 1, 1994 marked the first day of the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and nearly 20 years later, communities are still suffering from its consequences.

Among other conclusions, this report finds that NAFTA:

  • Facilitated the expansion of large-scale, export-oriented farming that relies heavily on...
2014-03-12  |  Janet Eaton

March 10, 2014. 

By Miriam Ross

Trade unions and campaign groups have written to Vince Cable calling for a halt to negotiations on the EU-US trade deal, as talks begin in Brussels today.

The groups, including the UK’s second biggest trade union UNISON, environmental, social justice and anti-poverty organisations, believe the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will undermine democracy, threaten public services and lead to lower standards in a range of areas including environmental protection, workers’ rights and food safety.

The letter to the Business Secretary uses recent research to show that the trade deal is unlikely to significantly boost employment, and points to the European Commission’s own work which suggests it will cause “prolonged and substantial dislocation of EU workers as a direct...

2014-03-12  |  Janet Eaton

By Shawn Donnan in London, March 10th 2014

Faced with an increasingly vocal opposition to a landmark EU-US trade agreement, a growing number of backers of the deal are starting to ask a simple question: might the future of transatlantic trade be better served if one of its most controversial provisions was simply dropped?

Almost nine months after negotiations opened with great hope and fanfare, opponents of the mooted Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, are rallying against a plan that would allow private investors to use the pact to sue governments if they felt local laws threatened their investment.

...

            

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