People, Trade & the Environment
Tools & Information for Activists


March 19, 2003

1. War and Trade

  • WTO FEARS BUSH GO-IT-ALONE ROLE
  • ‘US-EU RIFT ON IRAQ WILL IMPACT WTO’: EU TRADE COMMISSIONER
  • WAR WILL NOT HARM TRADE SAY CONFIDENT [US] OFFICIALS
  • ARAB ECONOMIES FACE UNCERTAIN TIMES
  • MARKETS RALLY ON LIKELIHOOD OF WAR
  • ENVIRONMENTALISTS AGAINST THE WAR
  • ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS INTERUPT OIL TRADING
  • WORLD NEEDS WATER, NOT WAR: UNION LEADERS
  • UN LABOR BODY PAUSES FOR PEACE
  • REVEALED: 17 BRITISH FIRMS ARMED SADDAM WITH HIS WEAPONS
  • MAJOR CANADIAN COMPANY URGES CANADA TO JOIN IN


2. WTO (World Trade Organisation)

  • TOP TRADE ENVOY SEES WTO TALKS HITTING CRISIS
  • WTO ALLOWS TRADE SANCTIONS AGAINST CANADA
  • WTO PRAISES CANADA FOR TRADE LIBERALIZATION
  • DFAIT BOASTING WTO APPROVAL RATING
  • WEF PLANS MEETING TO IN CO-OP WITH WTO, UN
  • US SUBMITS IDEAS IN WTO TO REFORM HARMFUL FISHERIES SUBSIDIES
  • US SUBMITS PAPERS TO WTO ON SUBSIDIES AND DUMPING
  • US GOVERNMENT AND ENTERTAINMENT COALITION PROMOTE FREE TRADE
  • RESOURCE GUIDE ON WTO SERVICES NEGOTIATIONS
  • EU TRADE: HOW TO INTEGRATE DEVELOPMENT AND TRADE
  • EURO PARLIAMENT’S RESOLUTION ON WTO TRADE IN SERVICES
  • WTO PROBES US COTTON SUBSIDIES


WTO & Agriculture

  • AGRICULTURE NEGOTIATIONS: REVISED ‘MODALITIES’ DRAFT CIRCUALTED
  • WTO FARM MEDIATOR STICKS TO PLAN
  • EU CRITISIZES “HARBINSON II”
  • COALITION LETTER TO EU AG MINISTERS
  • AUSTRALIA REJECTS REVISED WTO PLAN TO LIBERALIZE AG TRADE
  • JAPAN OPPOSES REVISED PROPOSAL FROM WTO


3. IMF (International Monetary Fund) & The World Bank

  • WATER DRIVES GROWTH AND POVERTY REDUCTION: WORLD BANK
  • IMF ISRAEL COUNTRY REPORT
  • IMF BOASTS IMPROVEMENTS IN TRANSPARENCY
  • IMF KOREA REPORT: URBANIZATION AND CHANGE TO FAMILY


4. FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) & NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)

  • CANADA NOT BLINKING ON SOFTWOOD: PETTIGREW
  • NEW US NEGOTIATOR ON FTAA
  • PETTIGREW ON TRADE AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES


5. Environment

  • WORLD SPENDS 40 TIMES MORE ON OIL THAN WATER
  • WORLD WATER FORUM: WEALTH OF INFORMATION
  • INDUSTRY GM FOOD-LABEL PANEL AT IMPASSE
  • COALITION DEMAND FOR GMO LABELING
  • NDP INTRODUCES GMO LABELING BILL
  • FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO CONSIDER PRIVITIZATION OF NUCLEAR
  • CALL TO BANKS - DON’T FUND DAM AND SMELTER PROJECT IN ICELAND
  • OTTAWA TAKES MORE TIME WITH BIOSAFETY RATIFICATION
  • CANADA TO BE #3 DIAMOND PRODUCER
  • FISH EXPORTS IN UGANDA DRIVEN BY WESTERN APPETITE FOR WHITE MEAT


6. Other

  • ERITREA DESPERATE: ONLY 24% OF NEEDED AID PLEDGED
  • TRADE BARRIERS HURT AFRICAN AGRICULTURE: REPORT
  • BANK OF CANADA’S FOUR PILLARS
  • PRIVATIZATION WOULD RUIN ONTARIO’S LIQUOR BUSINESS: LCBO
  • FOR $75,000, BC FIRM WILL GET YOU A KIDNEY IN CHINA


7. Glossary



People, Trade and the Environment is a publication of the Sierra Club of Canada.This digest is available on-line at http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/trade-env/people-trade-environment/

Many thanks to Maeve Sullivan and others for their research and assistance. For information or comments, to subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact: Sarah Dover, sdover@magma.ca



1. War and Trade


WTO FEARS BUSH GO-IT-ALONE ROLE

“U.S. policy could threaten international trade, aides warn”, The New York Times, by Elizabeth Becker, March 15, 2003

In a break from years of unwavering public faith in the United States, top officials at the World Trade Organization are worried that the Bush administration’s go-it-alone policy is threatening international trade. In the normally closed, clubby world of the WTO, envoys and officials said they feared that American moves within the organization and toward a war in Iraq would weaken respect for international rules and lead to serious practical consequence for the world economy and business.

http://www.iht.com/articles/89907.html

‘US-EU RIFT ON IRAQ WILL IMPACT WTO’: EU TRADE COMMISSIONER

Times News Network, March 15, 2003

The US-EU rift over Iraq could have an impact on the ongoing WTO negotiations for a global trade deal, admitted the highest ranking EU trade official Pascal Lamy here on Friday.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/xml/uncomp/articleshow?artid=40303064

WAR WILL NOT HARM TRADE SAY CONFIDENT [US] OFFICIALS

Reuters, March 20, 2003

The Bush Administration yesterday expressed confidence it could keep trade flowing smoothly across United States borders, despite increased security in preparation for a war with Iraq and possible new terror attacks.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3250931&thesection=news&thesubsection=world

ARAB ECONOMIES FACE UNCERTAIN TIMES

Gulf News, by Nadim Kawach, March 13, 2003

The spectre of a U.S.-led offensive against Iraq has started to jolt Arab economies as it has scared off investors and prompted foreign banks in the region to curtail their lending activities, according to the Arab League’s top economic official. Once the war erupts, several Arab countries will also suffer from a sharp decline in their exports because of the loss of the Iraqi market, while a resumption of Iraqi oil supplies after the end of the conflict will sharply depress crude prices and hit GCC revenues, said Jassim Manai, chairman of the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).

http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=80491

MARKETS RALLY ON LIKELIHOOD OF WAR

Reported in the Ottawa Citizen, National Post, Globe & Mail, Le Droit, La Presse, March 18, 2003

Investor relief that months of political uncertainty are near an end fuelled an explosive rally in stock markets around the world Monday. Betting that while a US-led war against Iraq is both inevitable and imminent, it will be short-lived and successful, Wall Street investors sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring 281.58 points or 3.58% to 8,141.29, it’s biggest single-day gain this year. If investors are right, that rally will accelerate, TD Bank economist Marc Levesque said. “The moment that the markets get the sense that a victory, or some solution, is at hand, you will see a pretty powerful rally”, he said.


ENVIRONMENTALISTS AGAINST THE WAR

“10 Reasons Environmentalists Oppose An Attack on Iraq”

1. An attack on Iraq could kill nearly 500,000 people. Most of the people killed would be innocent civilians. 2. War destroys human settlements and native habitats. War destroys wildlife and contaminates the land, air and water. The damage can last for generations….4. Bombs pollute, poisoning the land with unexploded shells and toxic chemicals. Bombs can’t locate or destroy hidden chemical or biological weapons (CBW), but they can cause the uncontrolled spread of deadly CBW agents….8. Increased military spending (to control access to the fuel that powers our oil-based economy) drains funds from critical social, educational, medical and environmental needs….10. The US has threatened to strike Iraq with nuclear weapons - the ultimate weapons of mass destruction.

http://www.envirosagainstwar.org/sayno/tenreasons.html

ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS INTERUPT OIL TRADING

Associated Press, by Bruce Stanley, March 17, 2003

The International Petroleum Exchange suspended trading Monday after two anti-war activists entered the exchange building in central London. The two protesters, who were in a group of about 30 people, succeeded in entering the building in the early afternoon and were later ejected, said a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police, speaking on condition of anonymity. The exchange is Europe’s major center for trading in futures contracts for crude oil.

http://newsobserver.com/24hour/business/story/811051p-5763963c.html

WORLD NEEDS WATER, NOT WAR: UNION LEADERS

CUPE Press Release, March 18, 2003

Union leaders from around the world attending the World Water Forum in Kyoto, expressed their outrage and deep concern today as discussions on how to assure safe, clean water for all were torpedoed by the announcement by US President George Bush that war against Iraq is imminent. Representatives of Public Services International, who had come to Kyoto to press for urgent global action to strengthen public water services, reject the decision to attack Iraq in the face of international support for continued pressure through the United Nations to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

http://www.cupe.ca/mediaroom/newsreleases/showitem.asp?id=8992&cl=1

UN LABOR BODY PAUSES FOR PEACE

“UN labour group joins worldwide concern for peace”, ILO Press Release, March 14, 2003

The Governing Body of the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) today suspended its work for 15 minutes between 1200 and 1215 pm to express its hope in a peaceful settlement of the Iraqi crisis through the UN.

http://www.ilo.org/public/english/new/index.htm

REVEALED: 17 BRITISH FIRMS ARMED SADDAM WITH HIS WEAPONS

Sunday Herald, by Neil Mackay Home Affairs Editor

Seventeen British companies who supplied Iraq with nuclear, biological, chemical, rocket and conventional weapons technology are to be investigated and could face prosecution following a Sunday Herald investigation….The companies were named by Iraq in a 12,000 page dossier submitted to the UN in December. The Security Council agreed to US requests to censor 8000 pages including sections naming western businesses which aided Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programme. The five permanent members of the security council Britain, France, Russia, America and China are named as allowing companies to sell weapons technology to Iraq. http://www.sundayherald.com/31710

MAJOR CANADIAN COMPANY URGES CANADA TO JOIN IN

Reported in the National Post, Financial Post, March 19, 2003

Canada has made a grave mistake by refusing to join a US-led war against Saddam Hussein and his regime in Iraq, Derek Burney, the head of a major defence contractor and former Canadian ambassador to Washington, said Tuesday. He said Prime Minister Jean Chrétien maintained a posture of “studied ambivalence” for months of Canada’s role before finally announcing on Monday the government’s decision not to fight. “Canada’s relationship with the US is too important for vacillation and too vital for detachment”, Burney, Chief Executive of CAE Inc., told a crowded Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal meeting Tuesday.



2. WTO (World Trade Organisation)


TOP TRADE ENVOY SEES WTO TALKS HITTING CRISIS

New Zealand Herald, March 14, 2003

World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks to free up global trade are heading for a crisis, with an end-March deadline for a deal on farm reform virtually certain to be missed, a key official said. Carlos Perez del Castillo, chairman of the WTO ruling General Council, told reporters: “I cannot see how in two weeks we will solve agriculture. I think the deadline will be missed.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3200833&thesection=business&thesubsection=latest

WTO ALLOWS TRADE SANCTIONS AGAINST CANADA

Associated Press, March 18, 2003

Brazil was granted permission by the World Trade Organization today to impose almost $250 million US per year in trade sanctions against Canada in a dispute over subsidies for aircraft makers. The amount was fixed by a WTO arbitrator last month after Brazil complained that the Canadians had failed to comply with a WTO that ruled illegal its subsidy program for regional aircraft manufacturer Bombardier. Today’s decision means that Brazil can immediately start imposing 100 per cent duties on some Canadian imports, effectively pricing them out of the market.


WTO PRAISES CANADA FOR TRADE LIBERALIZATION

The International News, March 16, 2003

The World Trade Organisation gave Canada high marks on Friday for its generally liberal line on trade, but pointed to some areas, such as agriculture and steel, that were still protected by import barriers. “…Its trade regime is amongst the world’s most transparent and liberal, notwithstanding barriers to imports in a few albeit important sectors,” the Geneva-based WTO said in a review of Ottawa’s trade policies.

http://jang.com.pk/thenews/mar2003-daily/16-03-2003/business/b19.htm

DFAIT BOASTING WTO APPROVAL RATING

“WTO SAYS CANADA’S TRADE REGIME AMONG THE WORLD’S MOST TRANSPARENT AND LIBERAL”, DFAIT Press Release, March 14, 2003

International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew today welcomed the World Trade Organization (WTO) trade policy review of Canada, which recognizes Canada as one of the most transparent and liberal traders in the world. The WTO Secretariat notes that Canada is the world’s fifth largest trader and comments that “The Canadian economy has successfully weathered the recent slowdown in the world economy… [and has] successfully withstood the effects of the U.S. slowdown since 2000.”

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/105962.htm&Language=E

WEF PLANS MEETING TO IN CO-OP WITH WTO, UN

“The Spirit of Davos Comes to China, China under New Leadership: The New Dynamics of Trade and Development”, WEF Press Release, March 12, 2003

The World Economic Forum… will host its 22nd China Business Summit in Beijing on 14-15 April. The Summit, which brings the unique “spirit of Davos” to China, will be the first international business-focused meeting after the landmark National People’s Congress currently being held in Beijing. For the first time in its history, the Summit will be held in cooperation with the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) and the WTO (World Trade Organization). The local partner for the Summit is the China Enterprise Confederation.

http://www.weforum.org/site/homepublic.nsf/Content/The+Spirit+of+Davos+Comes+to+China

US SUBMITS IDEAS IN WTO TO REFORM HARMFUL FISHERIES SUBSIDIES

USTR Press Release, March 19, 2003

The United States will submit a paper today to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Negotiating Group on Rules that advocates stronger global trade rules governing subsidies for the fisheries industry, to remedy the economic and environmental damage from overfishing. The United States is working closely on the fisheries subsidies initiative with a broad coalition of developed and developing countries, including Australia, Chile, Ecuador, Iceland, New Zealand, Peru, and the Philippines. Environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund have made fisheries subsidies reform a high priority and strongly support action in the WTO.

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2003/03/03-18.htm

US SUBMITS PAPERS TO WTO ON SUBSIDIES AND DUMPING

“U.S. Makes Submissions to World Trade Organization: Strengthening Rules Against Unfair Trade Practices”, USTR Press Release, March 19, 2003

The United States today submitted two papers to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that make the case for strengthening global trade rules against unfair trade practices, such as providing government subsidies to industries, and dumping - selling goods at unfairly low prices….The U.S. papers will be presented to the WTO Rules Negotiating Group, which is part of the ongoing WTO talks within the Doha Development Agenda.

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2003/03/03-17.htm

US GOVERNMENT AND ENTERTAINMENT COALITION PROMOTE FREE TRADE

“Zoellick Joins Entertainment Industry, Launch of Free Trade Coalition: Entertainment Sector Pledges Strong Support for Free Trade, Chile and Singapore Agreements”, USTR Press Release, March 13, 2003

U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick today joined representatives from the entertainment community and Members of Congress to celebrate the launch on Capitol Hill of the Entertainment Industry Coalition for Free Trade. The coalition includes members of the motion picture and recording industries, theater owners, video game producers, and television programmers who recognize the importance of economic openness and trade to American entertainment businesses and workers. Members of the Entertainment Industry Coalition for Free Trade in attendance at the launch included…Motion Picture Association of America…AOL Time Warner…BMG Music… EMI Recorded Music…Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc….Sony Music Entertainment…Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation…Universal Music Group…Universal Studios…the Walt Disney Company…Warner Bros…..

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2003/03/03-15.htm

RESOURCE GUIDE ON WTO SERVICES NEGOTIATIONS

“Guide to Countries on Handling the WTO Services Negotiations”, TWN Info Service on WTO Issues, March 6, 2003

…Below is a paper by the international trade expert Bhagirath Lal Das that provides a very useful guide for policy makers and negotiators in developing countriues as regards the options and choices they have in making decisions on requsest and offers in the WTO services negotiations. The paper also makes very useful suggestions on seven strategies to adopt in the negotiations. Mr B.L. Das was formerly the Director of the Trade Division in UNCTAD and also formerly India’s Permananet Representative to the GATT, and author of several books and papers on WTO issues.

http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/twninfo7.htm

EU TRADE: HOW TO INTEGRATE DEVELOPMENT AND TRADE

“Governance and its Relationship to Poverty Reduction”, Speech by Pascal Lamay, EU Trade Commissioner at Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) 20th Anniversary Celebrations, New Delhi, India, 12-14 March 2003

…In short, the task is clear: how do we integrate development into trade policy? Let’s take a closer look at the three key elements I just mentioned: Market access, Rules, Trade-related assistance…

http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/lamy/speeches_articles/spla159_en.htm

EURO PARLIAMENT’S RESOLUTION ON WTO TRADE IN SERVICES

“WTO Trade in services: Pascal Lamy welcomes European Parliament Resolution”, Press release, EU Trade Commission, March 12, 2003

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution on the on-going World Trade Organisation negotiations on trade in services (GATS EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said : “I welcome today’s resolution by the European Parliament which recognises the efforts undertaken by the European Commission in terms of transparency and supports the position of the EU in this negotiations. I also wish to support the desire expressed by the European Parliament in this resolution to have a grater role in the definition of European trade policy…” Speaking before his departure for New Delhi, Pascal Lamy took the opportunity to set out once again the Commission’s objectives and strategy for the GATS negotiations…

http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade/services/pr130303_en.htm

WTO PROBES US COTTON SUBSIDIES

Financial Times, by Frances Williams , March 19, 2003

The World Trade Organisation yesterday set up a dispute panel to investigate Brazil’s complaint that US cotton subsidies worth nearly $4bn (£2.54bn) a year are illegal under international trade rules.



WTO & AGRICULTURE


AGRICULTURE NEGOTIATIONS: REVISED ‘MODALITIES’ DRAFT CIRCUALTED

Agriculture and Trade (IATP), March 19, 2003

The revised first draft of the agriculture “modalities” paper has been circulated to member governments on 18 March 2003, as the negotiations approach the 31 March deadline for establishing “modalities” - targets (including numerical targets) for achieving the objectives of the negotiations, as well as issues related to rules.

You can now download the document at:

http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/agric_e/negoti_mod2stdraft_e.htm

WTO FARM MEDIATOR STICKS TO PLAN

Reuters, 20 March 2003

The head of farm talks at the World Trade Organisation made few concessions yesterday in a second draft of a criticised reform plan, setting the scene for tough talks next week. WTO agriculture committee chairman Stuart Harbinson presented the second blueprint ahead of talks due to start next Wednesday and which are aimed at an outline accord by the end of March on how to lower barriers to farm trade. His first attempt was heavily criticised by farm exporting and importing countries for either going too far in freeing up trade or for not going far enough. New Zealand’s Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said at the time, in mid-February, there was still six weeks to knock the proposal into shape.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2342582a6026,00.html

EU CRITISIZES “HARBINSON II”

“WTO agriculture talks: Harbinson 2 does not bring WTO members closer”, Press Release EU Trade Commission, 19 March 2003

…In a first reaction, EU Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler and EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said “We fully appreciate Mr. Harbinson’s efforts. But we do not see this draft as bringing the WTO Members closer. Harbinson 2 is largely identical to the first draft. Severe imbalances remain. We have tabled substantial and ambitious proposals on all items under the Doha mandate (domestic support, export support, market access). We have moved our domestic policies in the right direction, and we should continue to do so in the future…”

http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade/goods/agri/pr190303_en.htm

COALITION LETTER TO EU AG MINISTERS

“Open letter to EU Agriculture Ministers”, Press Release (multiple organizations), March 17, 2003 …Time is running out for EU Agriculture Ministers to bring about meaningful changes to European agriculture policy and address the CAP’s impact on the environment, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries. A reform agreement that brings so little hope for the sustainability of farming and rural livelihoods in North and South will be a big disappointment in the eyes of public opinion and the tax payer.

The millions of citizens we represent have expressed strong concern for the plight of local farmers being driven from the land, the welfare of farm animals in industrial production systems, the loss of nature & biodiversity, the impact of intensive farming on our health and the reduced variety in our diets. Add to this the hundreds of millions of people in the developing world whose livelihoods have been undermined by the dumping of cheap CAP subsidized produce, fuelling poverty and undermining food security.

http://www.foeeurope.org/

AUSTRALIA REJECTS REVISED WTO PLAN TO LIBERALIZE AG TRADE

Dow Jones Newswires, March 19, 2003

Australia Wednesday rejected revised guidelines for agricultural trade reform proposed by the World Trade Organization with Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile saying the revisions don’t differ much from the original draft and still don’t go far enough.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/dowjones/20030319/bs_dowjones/200303190628000622


JAPAN OPPOSES REVISED PROPOSAL FROM WTO

Associated Press, March 19, 2003

Japan opposed Wednesday the revised proposal from the official leading negotiations on reducing barriers to trade in agriculture, calling it too similar to the first document…. Japan’s agriculture ministry said in a statement that it remains opposed to the revised proposal, criticizing it as having “basic problems.’’ Japan is already among the world’s biggest food importers, relying on imports for 60 percent of its food. But it also fiercely protects agricultural products such as rice, a sacred crop with cultural importance. Tariffs on imported rice soar as high as 490 percent.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2003/3/19/latest/10864Japanoppo&sec=latest



3. IMF (International Monetary Fund) & The World Bank


WATER DRIVES GROWTH AND POVERTY REDUCTION: WORLD BANK

“World Bank Stresses Water As Key Driver Of Growth And Poverty Reduction”, World Bank Press Release, ÊMarch 17, 2003

In a new position paper released today, the World Bank has reemphasized the importance of water as a key driver of growth and poverty reduction….The report suggests an action-oriented agenda focused on…Increased investments in water resources and services linked to poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. This includes public funds, local and international private investment and international aid.


IMF ISRAEL COUNTRY REPORT

Israel: 2003 Article IV Consultation, IMF Country Report, March 2003

The economy is in the midst of a deep recession…The Intifada that started in September 2000 has affected economic activity through five channels: a fall in tourism, a reduction in trade with the Palestinian Authorities (PA), a fall in Palestinian labor supply, an increase in defense expenditures, and a rise in the level of uncertainty….

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2003/cr0375.pdf

IMF BOASTS IMPROVEMENTS IN TRANSPARENCY

“Transparency and the IMF: Toward Second Generation Reforms”, Speech by Thomas C. Dawson, Director of External Relations, International Monetary Fund, Prepared text for remarks to Nordic and Baltic Monetary and Financial Committee, March 17, 2003

http://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/2003/031703.htm

IMF KOREA REPORT: URBANIZATION AND CHANGE TO FAMILY

IMF Country Report, Republic of Korea: Selected Issues, March 2003

…Support for the elderly in Korea has traditionally been provided by the family. This was the norm in a largely rural society with a typical family size of over five children and relatively short life spans. In Korea’s Confucian culture, children were largely responsible for the care - broadly defined to include any retirement income - if their elders. The idea of preparing for one’s own retirement was virtually unknown. This, a central challenge for policymakers in the context of rapid development and urbalization has been how to move to a modern pension system….[T]he family-centered model has begun to break down….

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2003/cr0380.pdf



4. FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) & NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)


CANADA NOT BLINKING ON SOFTWOOD: PETTIGREW

37th Parliament, 2nd Session, Edited Hansard, March 17, 2003

Mr. John Duncan:… Why is the minister so resistant to completing a cost analysis to provide strong Canadian leadership on negotiations?

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): …For the first time, Canada has not blinked before the Americans. For the first time, we have made progress with the Americans on the softwood lumber issue. It has been two years that Canada has been fighting these duties. It has been two years that we have been working with the secretary of commerce, who has now come to terms with our position and is trying to help. There are senators in the United States on our side asking the American administration to pull with us. That is leadership and progress.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/071_2003-03-17/han071_1455-E.htm#SOB-452723

NEW US NEGOTIATOR ON FTAA

“USTR Announces Personnel Appointments: New General Counsel, Five New Assistant USTRs & New FTAA Negotiator Among Those Named”, USTR Press Release, March 11, 2003

…Senior Negotiator for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA): Ross Wilson, currently the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, will become Senior Negotiator for the FTAA, a new position, effective June 23…. Mr. Wilson has been Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan since October 2000….Prior to being nominated to serve in Azerbaijan, he was Principal Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large and Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New and Independent States of the former Soviet Union (1997-2000), where he had direct responsibility for U.S. relations with Ukraine, Central Asia and the Caucuses, as well as region-wide economic and other issues….

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2003/03/03-14.htm

PETTIGREW ON TRADE AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Notes for an address by the Honourable Pierre Pettigre, Minister for International Trade, to the Trinidad and Tobago Business Community on “Integrating Developing Countries into the Global Economy”, March 11, 2003

…Indeed, given all that is at stake, you will understand why the cornerstone of Canadian trade policy will remain the WTO. But, I want to assure you that Canada also favours the ongoing pursuit of reductions in barriers to trade and investment at the regional and bilateral levels. Indeed, I believe that initiatives such as the FTAA can complement and reinforce multilateral liberalization by allowing faster, deeper and broader rules and disciplines than those that have been, or may be, negotiated at the multilateral level….I have with me here today senior Canadian partners in the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s economy…Methanex Corporation…Talisman…Scotiabank…Canadian Commercial Corporation.

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/105958.htm&Language=E



5. Environment


WORLD SPENDS 40 TIMES MORE ON OIL THAN WATER

“World Spends 40 Times More For Oil than Water Improvements Annually”, Press Release Secretariat of the 3rd World Water Forum, March 19, 2003

…The 3rd World Water Forum, meeting in three different Japanese cities Ð Kyoto, Shiga, Osaka Ð from March 16-23, has been convened to debate ways to solve the global water crisis, which has left 1.2 billion people without a safe water supply and 2.4 billion without secure sanitation…. Olivier Bommelaer, of the Seine-Normandy River Basin Organization, France, told Forum participants that “globally $25 billion, or 0.08% of global gross domestic product (GDP), is invested in water supply and sanitation infrastructure annually; if you include operation and maintenance, the total budget of water supply and sanitation is around $165 billion a mere 0.55 of global GDP. Just compare this to world oil budget: $ 7 trillion ($7,000 billion).” This estimate was based on a world petroleum price of $25 per barrel, which has jumped to $35…. There are currently 815 million undernourished people in world, and as the global population grows, the United Nations says the world is facing a disaster. Strategies on how to grow enough food to feed an estimated 9.3 billion people by the year 2050 were the subject of heated discussions at the opening session.

http://www.world.water-forum3.com/2003/eng/press/files/DayFourPressRelease2.doc

WORLD WATER FORUM: WEALTH OF INFORMATION

Themes/Regional Days include briefing papers, speeches, other resources. Topics include “Dams and Sustainable Development”, “The Middle East and the Mediterranean”, “Agriculture, Food and Water”, and “Water and Poverty”.

http://www.world.water-forum3.com/

INDUSTRY GM FOOD-LABEL PANEL AT IMPASSE

Reported in the Globe & Mail, March 14, 2003

The head of a business-driven effort to draft voluntary labelling rules for genetically modified foods has warned that her Committee may have to throw in the towel for lack of progress - leading environmental groups to call for Ottawa to bring in mandatory regulations instead. “We have less consensus now than a year ago”, Doryne Peace, Chairwoman of the Canadian General Standards Board Committee on voluntary labelling, wrote in a Feb. 28 letter to fellow business and government members. It has been about three-and-a-half years since Ottawa struck a process to try and develop voluntary rules with business for the labelling rules that industry should use in Canada and inform Canadians about GM food.

COALITION DEMAND FOR GMO LABELING

UNE COALITION DEMANDE L’ÉTIQUETAGE OBLIGATOIRE DES ALIMENTS CONTENANT DES OGM

Reported in Le Droit, March 14, 2003

Une coalition d’une cinquantaine d’associations d’écologistes, de consommateurs et de fermiers a demandé hier au gouvernement de Chrétien de légiférer pour rendre obligatoire l’étiquetage des aliments contenant des organismes génétiquement modifiés (OGM).ÊÊLes porte-parole de Greenpeace et de l’association québécoise Option Consommateurs, pointent l’absence totale de signalétique claire et nette en ce sens dans les magasins d’alimentation du Canada.ÊÊUn comité d’industriels de consommateurs et de membres d’organisations politiques, formé il y a plus de trois ans, à la suite du refus du gouvernement fédéral de légiférer sur la question, n’a pu établir un consensus sur la façon de procéder.ÊÊLa situation agace visiblement le ministère de l’agriculture. Selon Vern Greenshields, porte-parole du ministre Lyle Vanclief, “ le ministre trouve que tout ceci prend trop de temps, et il en éprouve quelque frustration “. Et d’ajouter que lorsque la commission avait été mise sur pied, elle était censée rendre ses orientations six mois plus tard. “ Cela fait maintenant trois ans “, constate le porte-parole.


NDP INTRODUCES GMO LABELING BILL

37th Parliament, 2nd Session, Edited Hansard, March 18, 2003

Food and Drugs Act

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-410, an act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (mandatory labelling for genetically modified foods). She said: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill to amend the Food and Drugs Act with the specific purpose of legislating mandatory labelling of genetically modified foods. The bill flows from the government’s continued refusal to act on Canadians expressed concerns about the rapid entry of genetically modified organisms into the marketplace without the benefit of long term safety studies and without public information.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/072_2003-03-18/han072_1010-E.htm#Int-454380

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO CONSIDER PRIVITIZATION OF NUCLEAR

Reported in the Globe & Mail, March 18, 2003

Ottawa is considering opening the door to the private sector in a bid to kick-start Canada’s sleepy nuclear reactor construction business and help wean Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. off federal subsidies. Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal is striking a panel to study whether AECL should find private sector partners to market its advanced nuclear reactor technology.ÊÊAECL is the Crown Corporation that sells reactors.ÊÊSources say the study is part of a drive to help it “eventually get to the point where it can go it alone”.

CALL TO BANKS - DON’T FUND DAM AND SMELTER PROJECT IN ICELAND

“NGOs call on Banks not to Fund Large Dam and Smelter Project in Iceland”, Press Release from INCA, International rivers network, friends of the earth international, cee bankwatch network, world wildlife fund international, March 13, 2003

An international coalition of 120 environmental organizations today called on private banks and international financial institutions not to provide any funds for the large Kárahnjúkar dam and aluminum smelter project in Iceland. Iceland’s National Power Company and the Alcoa Corporation are expected to sign the project’s power contract on March 15.

http://www.irn.org/index.asp?id=/programs/europe/030313.pr.karahnjukar.html

OTTAWA TAKES MORE TIME WITH BIOSAFETY RATIFICATION

37th Parliament, 2dn Session, Edited Hansard, March 18, 2003

Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and it has to do with the biosafety protocol. So far 44 countries have ratified the Cartagena protocol on biosafety. Fifty are needed for it to come into effect….

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Canada signed the biosafety protocol in April 2001 and we are on a plan to ratify it. However, before ratifying it we need to resolve some uncertainties in the agreement. We are doing that in consultation with the agriculture and the agri-food industry. Based on those consultations we have drafted an action plan to identify and deal with those uncertainties….

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/072_2003-03-18/han072_1440-E.htm#SOB-457236

CANADA TO BE #3 DIAMOND PRODUCER

Reported in the Ottawa Citizen, March 17, 2003

Canada is on track to become the world’s third-largest diamond producer, but red tape involved in securing access to the resource is frustrating the industry, observers say.ÊÊ”It is a big problem,” said John Kaiser, publisher of Kaiser Bottom-Fishing Report, an investment newsletter that analyses the global diamond market.ÊÊThe permit process is taking too long and becoming a growing source of frustration for industry players, he suggested.


FISH EXPORTS IN UGANDA DRIVEN BY WESTERN APPETITE FOR WHITE MEAT

“Export Boom: Sadly, It Seems Uganda Has Other Fish to Fry”, The East African, March 17, 2003 Fishing is set for even bigger expansion because of rising health awareness, with many consumers, especially in the West, now preferring white to red meat….However, there is a need to rationalise the distribution of the earnings down the chain that connects the landing site to the international market. The fishermen earn $1.3 per kilo of fish while processors get $4 at the airport. Once in Europe, the fish merchants charge up to $15 a kilo. Those who import for the wealthy Arab markets or choosy Chinese restaurants are reported to earn as much as $50 per kilo.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200303190556.html



6. Other


ERITREA DESPERATE: ONLY 24% OF NEEDED AID PLEDGED

“Drought Worsens As World Attention Focused Elsewhere”, IRIN, March 19, 2003

…With the world’s attention focused elsewhere, aid officials in Eritrea say this tiny nation in Africa’s Horn is quietly approaching a humanitarian disaster. More than two thirds of Eritrea’s 3.3 million people are facing the spectre of famine as the country confronts its worst drought since it officially gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Appeals for international assistance began last summer, but the response so far has not been as swift as aid officials and government representatives had hoped. Only 24 percent of the estimated food aid needed has been pledged, while only a fraction of that aid has been received.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200303190005.html

TRADE BARRIERS HURT AFRICAN AGRICULTURE: REPORT

Business Day, by Larry Claasen, March 19, 2003

Trade barriers and subsidies in developed countries are depressing prices of agricultural goods, resulting in a “tax” of $7,1bn a year on African countries. These were the findings of a report into advancing African agriculture through trade reform, which was compiled by the Economic Analytical Unit of the Australian foreign affairs and trade department.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200303190243.html

BANK OF CANADA’S FOUR PILLARS

Bank of Canada, Remarks by David Dodge, Governor of the Bank of Canada to the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce, 12 March 2003

…Meeting Global Challenges: The Importance of Sound Economic Policies…During the 1980s, a consensus developed among OECD nations on the combination of policies most likely to deliver sound economic performance. The consensus grew out of the unhappy experiences of earlier policy experiments. And it was built around four key principles: trade liberalization, structural reform, fiscal prudence, and low and stable inflation….

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/speeches/2003/sp03-2.htm

PRIVATIZATION WOULD RUIN ONTARIO’S LIQUOR BUSINESS: LCBO

Reported in the Ottawa Citizen, March 19, 2003

Ontario’s liquor should not fall into the hands of private business, says the head of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Privatization might work in other provinces, but it would cripple Ontario’s alcohol business, Andy Brandt said. It would have a negative impact on the 605 liquor outlets across the province, as well as the 450 beer stores, 350 wine stores and 800 brew your own outlets in Ontario, he said. A study of privatization in Alberta revealed that product selection doubled, the number of full-time staff nearly tripled and there was a 134-percent increase in the number of liquor stores. But Brandt said Alberta does not have private beer distribution outlets like Ontario.


FOR $75,000, BC FIRM WILL GET YOU A KIDNEY IN CHINA

Reported by the Ottawa Citizen, National Pose, Globe & Mail, March 18, 2003

A Vancouver-based organ broker is arranging speedy overseas kidney transplants for North American patients - for $75,000 US. Vince Lam, owner of The Kidney Group, says he is fielding hundreds of inquiries from Canadians and Americans who are willing to pay for kidney transplants in China to avoid lengthy waits at home. Lam insists he is not selling, buying or brokering organs, which is illegal in Canada. He says the fee is for consultation and hospital fees, while the organ is donated for free.



7. Glossary


“Chapter 11” …of the NAFTA on Dispute Settlement

DDA Doha Development Agenda

DFAIT Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

ENGO Environmental non-governmental organization

FTA Free trade agreement

FTAA Free Trade Area of the Americas

GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

HIPC Heavily Indebted Poor Country

IFI International financial institution

ILO International Labor Organization

IMF International Monetary Fund

LDCs Lesser Developed Countries

MEA Multilateral Environmental Agreement

NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement

NGO Non-governmental organization

TRIPS Agreement Respecting Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

UNDP UN Development Programme

USTR US Trade Representative

WEF World Economic Forum

WHO World Health Organization

WSF World Social Forum

WTO World Trade Organization

GATS General Agreement on Trade in Services




Sierra Club of Canada has an active programme on Trade and the Environment. SCC has challenged Chapter 11 through the courts on the S.D.Myers case, played an integral role in the fight against the MAI and works in coalition with the Common Front on the WTO, Common Frontiers and the Canadian Alliance on Trade and the Environment.



FOR INFORMATION OR COMMENTS, TO SUBSCRIBE OR UNSUBSCRIBE, PLEASE CONTACT: Sarah Dover, sdover@magma.ca