People, Trade & the Environment
Tools & Information for Activists


April 29, 2003

1. WTO (World Trade Organisation)

  • WTO HEAD CALLS FOR TRADE TALK JUMPSTART
  • WTO: WORLD TRADE OUTLOOK GLUM IN ‘03
  • UPDATE ON TRADE TALKS
  • US TRADE ENVOY IN EUROPE TO FURTHER WTO TALKS
  • CIVIL SOCIETY CONFERENCE BEFORE CANCUN
  • EU PROPOSAL FOR SUSTAINABLE FISHING
  • REPORT FROM A REGIONAL CONSULTATION ON TRIPS
  • NEW ZEALAND ENVOY CALLS EU AG PROPOSAL ‘COMICAL’
  • WTO TEXTILE RULING STUNS INDIA
  • AFGHANISTAN APPLIES TO WTO CLUB
  • EU REVISES PROPOSAL ON SERVICES
  • BUSINESS GROUPS PREPARE PRO-WTO PR PUSH
  • WTO FINDS AGAINST ARGENTINA ON POULTRY DUMPIING
  • THE GREAT GRAIN DRAIN: US FLOODS GLOBAL MARKETS


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

  • WORLD BANK IMPLICATED IN PERUVIAN MERCURY SPILL
  • DOHA IS CRITICAL: IMF TO WTO
  • IMF CALLS FOR SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION


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

  • US ENVIRONMENT LAW GOES UP AGAINST NAFTA COMPLIANCE
  • FTAA HIGH PRIORITY: POWELL
  • CIVIL SOCIETY VOICES CONCERN OVER CAFTA NEGOTIATIONS
  • NICARAGUA SEEKS PROTECTIONS FOR SOME INDUSTRIES IN CAFTA
  • US BUYS LATIN AMERICANS’ PERSONAL DATA


4. OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)

  • PETTIGREW TO PARTICIPATE IN OECD MINISTERIAL MEETING
  • US TRADE REP HEADS TO OECD MEETING
  • BP CHARGED WITH BREAKING OECD RULES
  • OECD NATIONS CAN CUT ENERGY USE BU 1/3 BY 2010
  • OECD MEETING CHANCE TO PUSH TRADE AGENDA


5. G8

  • G8 ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS FINAL COMMUNIQUE
  • G8 ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS DISCUSS AFRICA, IRAQ AND THE CREATION OF A WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY
  • ANNUAL G8 SUMMIT SHAPING UP AS MEGA MEETING
  • EC ROUND TABLE ON ACCESS TO MEDICINES


6. War and Trade

  • FREE MARKETEERS HAVE A PLAN FOR IRAQ
  • UN, US SANCTIONS BLOCK AID TO IRAQ
  • US TRADE REP SAYS NO TRADE CONSEQUENCES FOR FRANCE
  • FRANCE TO FACE CONSEQUENCES: POWELL
  • TRADE CONSEQUENCES FOR RUSSIA
  • WEF ORGANIZES MEETING IN JORDAN
  • CORPORATE COLONIALISM IN IRAQ
  • UN URGES SWIFT POSTWAR IRAQ ENVIRONMENT PROBE


7. Environment

  • WESTERN PRIORITY: ECOLOGY, NOT TAXES
  • LACK OF FOCUS ON KYOTO MAKES LONG-TERM COMMITMENTS TOUGH
  • AGRICULTURE AND FRESH WATER
  • DOLLY THE SHEEP FIRM PPL DROPS DRUG FACTORY PLANS
  • EU AWAITS HEATED DEBATE ON GM CROP MIX
  • THOUSANDS OF AUSTRALIAN SPECIES AT RISK - REPORT
  • DUNKIN’ DONUTS GOES FAIR TRADE


8. Other

  • PETTIGREW ENDORSES MARTIN
  • FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE
  • POWELL: EARTH DAY REMARKS
  • GERIC DRUGS STILL NEEDED
  • FORUM ON SHARING THE “GAINS” OF GLOBALIZATION


9. 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 everyone who has contributed to the publication of this digest. For information or comments, to subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact: Sarah Dover, sdover@magma.ca



1. WTO (World Trade Organisation)


WTO HEAD CALLS FOR TRADE TALK JUMPSTART

Associated Press, April 29, 2003

The head of the World Trade Organization tried Tuesday to breathe life into stalled world trade talks, arguing that despite differences and missed deadlines, there are “signs of life.”

The 146-member countries of the WTO have failed to come up with agreements on issues like agricultural subsidies and market liberalization. But WTO Director General Supachai Panitchpakdi said Tuesday that while the missed deadlines are a “disappointment” he remains optimistic and that “it means we need to redouble our efforts.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/5744279.htm

WTO: WORLD TRADE OUTLOOK GLUM IN ‘03

Reuters, by Robert Evans, April 23, 2003

International trade in goods looks at best to be heading for only minimal growth this year, the World Trade Organisation said on Wednesday. Even this could be thrown into doubt by fallout from the Iraq war, the SARS virus and overall world economic gloom, the organisation said in its annual spring report.

http://asia.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=2611409

UPDATE ON TRADE TALKS

“Great Service for Multi-National Corporations?”, by DaphnÚe DION-VIENS, Alternatives, April 25, 2003,

With attention is focused on Iraq and its reconstruction, talks are moving ahead at the World Trade Organization (WTO). While we were glued to the television, Canada and other WTO member states committed themselves to opening up their markets in the service sector.

http://www.alternatives.ca/article522.html

US TRADE ENVOY IN EUROPE TO FURTHER WTO TALKS

“Zoellick Meetings in Europe Aim to Advance WTO Negotiations”, US Embassy - UK, April 29, 2003

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick is scheduled to meet with developed-country colleagues in France and Germany with the primary goal of advancing stalled World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations. In an April 28 press release the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said Zoellick’s schedule centers on the annual ministers’ meeting in Paris of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to which he is leading the U.S. delegation.

http://www.usembassy.org.uk/trade402.html

CIVIL SOCIETY CONFERENCE BEFORE CANCUN

“The Doha Round - What’s in it for development? Civil society demands”, Oxfam Press Release, 25 April 2003

CIDSE, Oxfam International and SOLIDAR are hosting a Conference in the run-up to the Cancun WTO Ministerial Meeting. The Conference on 7/8 May 2003 will be a forum for civil society to discuss the EU ‘s proposals and challenge key EC negotiators regarding their avowed aim to put development at the heart of the Doha Round. The Conference is organised by development NGOs, and there will be participation from the wider civil society from Europe and developing countries. Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and key EC negotiators will respond in a series of panel debates on the key issues to be faced in Cancun:

http://www.oxfam.org

EU PROPOSAL FOR SUSTAINABLE FISHING

“WTO: fisheries subsidies - EU tables proposal for sustainable fishing”, EU Trade Press Release, April 22, 2003

The EU has today tabled a proposal to the WTO to ban all subsidies which cause overcapacity in the fisheries sector. In line with the EU’s internal fisheries reform adopted last December, today’s proposal to the WTO calls for international action to put an end to overfishing. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said: “This is another example of the EU’s commitment to sustainable development, a key goal of the Doha Development Agenda. By banning these subsidies today, we can indeed help to ensure a sustainable future for fishermen around the world”.

http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade/goods/agri/pr220403_en.htm

REPORT FROM A REGIONAL CONSULTATION ON TRIPS

“ASIA PACIFIC WORKSHOP URGES PROPER NATIONAL POLICIES AND LAWS TO MAXIMISE RIGHTS ON PATENTS AND MEDICINES”, Third World Network

An Asia Pacific regional consultation was held in Colombo on 17-19 April, on the WTO/TRIPS Agreement and Access to Medicines…although the TRIPS Agreement has adverse effects on health, it does contain several types and degrees of flexibilities that allow WTO Members to take certain measures to limit patent holders’ exclusive rights, which have been confirmed by the WTO Doha Ministerial Conference and its Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health. The workshop discussed these flexibilities and measures, especially compulsory licensing, parallel importing and government use of patents. Legal experts at the workshop illustrated how developed countries (such as the US, the UK, etc.) have for years been making use of these measures for the public purpose.

http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/twninfo14.htm

NEW ZEALAND ENVOY CALLS EU AG PROPOSAL ‘COMICAL’

“EU efforts on agricultural trade fall ‘comically’ short - Sutton”, Independent Newspapers (New Zealand), April 30, 2003Ê

European Union (EU) efforts on agricultural trade liberalisation fall “comically” short of what was agreed for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha round, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton says.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2438805a6160,00.html

WTO TEXTILE RULING STUNS INDIA

By D Ravi Kanth, Asia Times, April 18, 2003

A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel last Friday created a watershed when it summarily ruled that the United States’ controversial rules of origin for textile and apparel products - instituted in 1996 to restrict burgeoning textile imports from Asia - do not violate the core principles of the trade body’s rules-of-origin agreement. In a dispute raised by India against the United States’ rules of origin for textile and apparel products, a three-member dispute settlement panel said in an interim “confidential” ruling that New Delhi had failed to show how the purported measures by Washington undermined Indian textile exports.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ED18Dj01.html

AFGHANISTAN APPLIES TO WTO CLUB

BBC News, by Stefan Armbruster, April 23, 2003

Afghanistan has asked to join the 146-member World Trade Organisation (WTO), but it could take years before it is admitted. The transitional government, installed by the US in December 2001, sent the request to the trade body on 10 April, a WTO spokesman told BBC News Online.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2968989.stm

EU REVISES PROPOSAL ON SERVICES

“EU improves WTO offer on services markets but defends public sector”, AFP, April 29, 2003

The EU laid before the World Trade Organisation on Tuesday an improved proposal for opening its services market to foreign companies in a wide range of sectors such as telecommunications and tourism. But the commission said its offer was intended to protect public services in the European Union and excluded the fields of health, education and audiovisual services. Also mentioned in the improved proposals were banking, insurance, environmental services, distribution, construction and news agencies.

http://www.eubusiness.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=109073&d=101&h=240&f=56&dateformat=%o%20%B%20%Y

BUSINESS GROUPS PREPARE PRO-WTO PR PUSH

“BRT Readies P.R. Campaign To Back Global Trade Talks”, National Journal’s Congress Daily, April 24, 2003

Leading business groups will soon begin a coordinated, multimillion dollar effort to stir up popular support for the current World Trade Organization round of trade negotiations, hoping to ensure completion of the round as scheduled by the end of next year….The new effort to popularize the trade discussions was revealed Wednesday by Business Roundtable President John Castellani during an interview with Congress Daily.

http://www.tradeobservatory.org/news/index.cfm?ID=4303

WTO FINDS AGAINST ARGENTINA ON POULTRY DUMPIING

“Argentina’s anti-dumping measure found to violate WTO agreement”, WTO

A WTO dispute panel has concluded that Argentina acted inconsistently with the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement on a number of counts when it imposed anti-dumping duties on poultry from Brazil. The panel report in case DS241 was circulated on 22 April 2003. Canada, Chile, the EU, Guatemala, Paraguay and the US were third parties in this case.

http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news_e.htm

THE GREAT GRAIN DRAIN: US FLOODS GLOBAL MARKETS

The Economic Times of India, by Nidhi Nath Srinivas, April 23, 2003

The US is dumping five primary farm commodities in global markets, in clear violation of WTO agriculture rules. It is exporting corn, soyabean, wheat, rice and cotton at prices far below their production cost in an effort to wipe out global competition. The US is exporting wheat at prices 40% lower than production costs. In the case of soyabean, the price difference has been increasing steadily over the last four years and is currently at 30% while for maize it’s 25-30%. In ‘01, cotton was being sold in the international markets at 57% lower than its production cost, while the price difference for rice has stabilised at 20%. As a result of these prices, the US is the world’s largest exporter of wheat, corn, cotton and soyabean, and the second largest in rice.

http://www.tradeobservatory.org/news/index.cfm?ID=4309




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


WORLD BANK IMPLICATED IN PERUVIAN MERCURY SPILL

“world bank and newmont corporation ignore human health impacts of mercury spill”, Friends of the Earth International, April 23, 2003

Only few weeks ahead of a key ruling by the Peruvian constitutional court on the planned expansion of the Yanacocha gold mine, local Peruvian communities denounced the Minera Yanacocha final assessment of a June 2000 mercury spill. Minera Yanacocha (a joint venture of Newmont, the world’s largest gold mining corporation, the World Bank Group and the Peruvian corporation Minas Buenaventura) presented the assessment on April 3, 2003 in Lima, Peru. People from three villages affected by the June 2000 spill claim that Yanacocha fails to adress the direct impacts the mercury spill had on their health. This is just the latest episode in an ongoing tale of controversies surrounding the World Bank Group- supported Yanacocha gold mine.

http://www.foei.org/media/2003/0423peru.html

DOHA IS CRITICAL: IMF TO WTO

“IMF To WTO”, Financial Express, April 24, 2003

In a communication to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has written that the successful completion of the Doha Development Agenda is critical; that the 145-member countries must remove the constraints to this process before the Fifth Ministerial in Cancun. This is only stating the obvious as the mini-Ministerials in Sydney in November 2002 and Tokyo in February 2003 failed to resolve the impasse. There will be another mini-Ministerial in Cairo in June 2003, but its prospects are not that bright either. As the Third Ministerial Meeting in Seattle in 1999 illustrated, unless substantial disagreements are sorted out in advance, it is unrealistic to expect trade ministers to resolve issues in a meeting spanning only a few days.

http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20030424670.2_d9200020a067979f

IMF CALLS FOR SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION

“Transcript of a Press Conference following the International Monetary and Financial Committee Meeting”, April 12, 2003

Mr. K·HLER…We are all agreed on the need for a further Security Council resolution and on the engagement by the Bretton Woods institutions, the IMF and the World Bank, and they stand ready to play the normal role in Iraq’s redevelopment at the appropriate time….The Fund and Bank will also monitor closely the impact of the conflict on all the members and stand ready to help and support those adversely affected. And we were also agreed today on the importance of addressing the debt issue, and we look forward to the early engagement of the Paris Club on Iraqi debt.

http://www.imf.org/external/np/tr/2003/tr030412.htm




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


US ENVIRONMENT LAW GOES UP AGAINST NAFTA COMPLIANCE

“Appeals Court Reinforces January Decision That Government Must Assess Environmental Impacts of Mexico-Domiciled Trucks Before Opening Border”, Public Citizen, April 16, 2003

A federal appeals court has delivered another blow to the government’s efforts to allow polluting Mexico-domiciled trucks on U.S. roads without assessing and attempting to mitigate the trucks’ environmental harm…The appellate court had ruled that the Bush administration violated environmental law when it announced last November that it was opening U.S. highways to long-haul trucks from Mexico to comply with the North American Free Trade Agreement. The court has told the government that it must complete an Environmental Impact Statement as required by the National Environmental Policy Act and a Conformity Statement as required by the Clean Air Act. The DOT is required to study the impact of increased air pollution on border-state communities and, where necessary, develop plans to lessen the anticipated harm, before it can move toward processing applications for cross-border trucking.

http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=1397

FTAA HIGH PRIORITY: POWELL

“Crisis and Opportunity: Realizing the Hopes of a Hemisphere”, Secretary Colin L. Powell, Remarks to Council of the Americas’ 33rd Annual Washington Conference, April 28, 2003

At the regional level, we place a high priority on linking our entire hemisphere in a Free Trade Area of the Americas. Two years ago, at the Quebec Summit of the Americas, our presidents and prime ministers committed themselves to creating, by January 2005, a free-trade area that would create greater prosperity for nearly 800 million people in 34 countries. To move negotiations forward, the United States has announced a bold, comprehensive offer to eliminate tariffs and trade barriers.

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2003/20021.htm

CIVIL SOCIETY VOICES CONCERN OVER CAFTA NEGOTIATIONS

Bridges Weekly Trade Digest, April 16. 2003

In a letter to US President Bush on 9 April, over 60 civil society organisations voiced their concern over the lack of civil society participation and transparency in the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) negotiation process. The US and the five CAFTA countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua launched their free trade talks on 8 January this year.

http://www.ictsd.org/weekly/03-04-16/inbrief.htm#2

NICARAGUA SEEKS PROTECTIONS FOR SOME INDUSTRIES IN CAFTA

Inside US trade (subscription), April 18, 2003

Nicaraguan President Enrique Bolaöos last week warned President Bush that

any free-trade agreement between the U.S. and five Central American countries would have to protect sensitive agricultural sectors and other industries in his country. According to a Central American source, Bolaöos said Nicaragua would not agree to an FTA that does not protect sectors that are not ready for liberalization. Bolaöos identified agriculture as one of those sectors and said that steps would need to be taken to protect small Central American farmers, this source said. But Bolaöos did not offer a specific course of action that could be taken to address Central American agriculture concerns, according to another source.


US BUYS LATIN AMERICANS’ PERSONAL DATA

The Associated Press, By Jim Krane, April 14, 2003 Over the past 18 months, the U.S. government has bought access to data on hundreds of millions of residents of 10 Latin American countries - apparently without their consent or knowledge - allowing myriad federal agencies to track foreigners entering and living in the United States….A suburban Atlanta company, ChoicePoint Inc., collects the information abroad and sells it to U.S. government officials in three dozen agencies, including immigration investigators who have used it to arrest illegal immigrants. The practice broadens a trend that has an information-hungry U.S. government increasingly buying personal data on Americans and foreigners alike from commercial vendors including ChoicePoint and LexisNexis.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/home/




4. OECD


PETTIGREW TO PARTICIPATE IN OECD MINISTERIAL MEETING

DFAIT Press Release, April 28, 2003

International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew will attend the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris on April 29 and 30, 2003. The theme of this year’s Ministerial Meeting is growth and development, and discussions will focus on global economic challenges. “We will continue to work with our trading partners to ensure that the Doha Development Agenda moves forward in all areas of the negotiations,” said Minister Pettigrew. “We have considerable work ahead of us if we are to have a productive session at our mid-term Ministerial Meeting in Cancun next September.” Following the OECD Ministerial Meeting, Mr. Pettigrew will attend an informal World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting of 19 trade ministers, hosted by New Zealand. They will discuss the state of the WTO negotiations and how to ensure the success of the Cancun Ministerial in September. On May 2, Minister Pettigrew will travel to Geneva for a number of high-level discussions on WTO negotiations. He will meet with Supachai Panitchpakdi, Director-General of the WTO, Carlos PÚrez del Castillo, Chair of the General Council, and other WTO ambassadors.

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/106081.htm&Language=E

US TRADE REP HEADS TO OECD MEETING

“Zoellick to Attend Trade Meetings in Paris April 28-May 1, Meetings in Berlin and Munich with German Officials and Key Business Leaders on May 2-3”, USTR Press Release, April 25, 2003

U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick will travel to Paris, France next week to discuss trade issues at the annual meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and to meet bilaterally with his ministerial colleagues to review the current state of global trade negotiations.

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2003/04/03-27.htm

BP CHARGED WITH BREAKING OECD RULES

“GROUPS FILE CLAIM AGAINST BP AND PIPELINE PARTNERS IN 5 COUNTRIES: “GREEN” COMPANY VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL NORMS IN CONTROVERSIAL CASPIAN OIL PIPELINE”, Friends of the Earth International, April 29, 2003

As political and business leaders gather in Paris for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Forum 2003, environmental organizations [1] today submitted complaints to the British, French, German, Italian, and U.S. governments. They charge that oil giant British Petroleum (BP) and its consortium partners [2] in the proposed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline are breaching the OECD’s “Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.”

http://www.foei.org/media/2003/0429.html

OECD NATIONS CAN CUT ENERGY USE BU 1/3 BY 2010

“OECD nations can cut energy use by 1/3 by 2010 - IEA”, April 22, 2003

The world’s rich industrial countries could slash nearly a third of their energy use by 2010 by using more energy-efficient electrical appliances, energy watchdog the International Energy Agency said.Ê

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20517/newsDate/22-Apr-2003/story.htm

OECD MEETING CHANCE TO PUSH TRADE AGENDA

Independant Newspapers (New Zealand), April 29, 2003

New Zealand will use high level meetings in Paris over the next two days to push for trade liberalisation, Prime Minister Helen Clark says.Ê

Miss Clark is to chair the powerful Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ministerial council meeting, which has allowed New Zealand the chance to influence the agenda.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2437357a6160,00.html




5. G8


G8 ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS FINAL COMMUNIQUE

“G8 Environment Minister’s Meeting”, CommuniquÚ, 29 April 2003

We, the Environment Ministers of the eight major industrialised countries and the European Commissioner responsible for environment met in Paris (France) from April 25 to 27, 2003….Eight months after the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), a few weeks after the 3rd World Water Forum and its Ministerial Conference (Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka, Japan) and bearing in mind the upcoming G8 Summit of Evian, our discussions focused on least developed regions and countries, particularly in Africa, sustainable production and consumption, strengthening environmental governance and cooperation, as well as oceans and maritime safety.

http://www.g8.gc.ca/paris_communique-en.asp

G8 ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS DISCUSS AFRICA, IRAQ AND THE CREATION OF A WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY

EurActiv, April 28, 2003

In short: Environment Ministers from the G-8 countries touched on issues ranging from Iraq’s environmental future, to tougher controls for oil tankers at their three-day summit in Paris.Ê

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/4037225-197?targ=1&204&OIDN=1505269&-home=home

ANNUAL G8 SUMMIT SHAPING UP AS MEGA MEETING

Daily News, April 29, 2003

Despite annual calls to slim it down, this year’s Group of Eight economic summit in France is shaping up as another megameeting with a huge cast, tight security and an army of anti-globalisation protesters….About 12,000 police, half from France and half from across the lake in Switzerland, will patrol the town, ply the waters and survey the site from the sky.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20613/newsDate/29-Apr-2003/story.htm

EC ROUND TABLE ON ACCESS TO MEDECINES

EU TRADE, April 28, 2003

…The aim of the Round Table is to look at the life cycle of medicines from research to delivery. Interested parties are being asked to give their views with regard to what needs to happen in order to make access to medicines a reality. The EC Programme for Action lays down the fundamental EC strategy in this respect. The Round Table will provide an excellent opportunity for enabling interested parties to recommend how the G8 Summit in Evian in June 2003 can take the implementation of this objective further. President Prodi is opening the event. Speakers at the Round Table include Francois Loos - Minister of Trade for France, Raymond Gilmartin - Merck, Jeremy Hobbs - OXFAM, Bernard Pecoul - MSF, Bill Haddad - Cipla, JP Garnier - GSK.

http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade/csc/med.htm




6. War and Trade


FREE MARKETEERS HAVE A PLAN FOR IRAQ

Asia Times, by Emad Mekay, April 30, 2003

President George W Bush’s administration is aggressively appointing a series of former private sector executives to run the Iraqi economy, prompting warnings that it will impose dubious free market policies on Baghdad and open the oil-rich nation further to US business interests.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ED30Ak02.html

UN, US SANCTIONS BLOCK AID TO IRAQ

Arab News, Opinion, by Tim Kennedy, April 23, 2003

…Currently, however, only US nongovernmental organizations and other groups are allowed into Iraq for emergency humanitarian purposes and to assess the needs of the Iraqi people. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is in charge of $1.7 billion in contracts for Iraq’s postwar reconstruction. USAID contracts that have been put out for bid include seaport administration, airport administration, capital construction such as emergency repair of the electrical supply, water and sanitation systems, logistical support, such as warehousing and customs clearance, public health, education, local government and personnel support. A European Union spokeswoman said last week that the 15-nation group would examine all USAID contracts to ensure they comply with global trade rules. “We are studying the contracts on a case-by-case basis to see if they respect WTO (World Trade Organization) rules,” the EU’s Arancha Gonzalez told reporters.

http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=25501

US TRADE REP SAYS NO TRADE CONSEQUENCES FOR FRANCE

“American Envoy Rules Out Sanctions on French Trade”, The New York Times, by BARRY JAMES, April 29, 2003

The United States trade representative, Robert B. Zoellick, assured French business leaders today that the “punishment” the Bush administration intends to mete out to France for opposing the Iraq war did not include trade sanctions. Mr. Zoellick, who was in Paris to attend a meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, met on Monday with the French economy minister, Francis Mer. Today he met with business leaders at the O.E.C.D. conference and assured them that the United States was seeking to make a big push on free trade.



FRANCE TO FACE CONSEQUENCES: POWELL

“France to “face consequences” over behaviour in Iraq crisis, US says”, Euractiv

In short: US Secretary of State Colin Powell says France will feel the consequences of having stood against the American view in the Security Council over the Iraq crisis. Brief News: Speaking on a prominent US television program, Mr. Powell said the Franco-American relationship needed a thorough reevaluation, now that hostilities in Iraq had ended. Although the Foreign Secretary did not specify the exact nature of the consequences, Powell’s spokesman had hinted earlier the US would try to hit France on the economic front.

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/4037225-197?targ=1&204&OIDN=1505255&-home=home

TRADE CONSEQUENCES FOR RUSSIA

“Restriction On Trade Stays Over Iraqi War”, Associated Press, by Ken Guggenheim, April 29, 2003

Congressional resentment over Russia’s opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq has stalled U.S. President George W. Bush’s push to lift Cold War-era trade restrictions that have long been a source of tension between the countries. The administration wants congress to repeal the 1974 Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions, but lawmakers have little desire to consider them anytime soon. The dispute over Iraq has added to previous concerns about Russian trade policies.

http://www.sptimesrussia.com/archive/times/864/news/b_9319.htm

WEF ORGANIZES MEETING IN JORDAN

“World Economic Forum to Convene Extraordinary Annual Meeting in Jordan under Patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II”, WEF Press Release, April 28, 2003

Looking to replace a “period of conflict with the spirit of cooperation”, the three-day event will unite 1,900 global political, business, religious, academic and other leaders in the search for a common vision of the future. The World Economic Forum announced today that it will convene an Extraordinary Annual Meeting in Jordan under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II. The Meeting, which will bring together more than 1,900 business, political, religious, academic and other leaders from around the world, will take place from 21 to 23 June under the theme “Visions for a Shared Future.”



CORPORATE COLONIALISM IN IRAQ

Mondo Washington, by James Ridgeway

Like one of the 19th-century European colonial empires, the Bush government is calling on Bechtel, Halliburton, and other major corporations to take over the job of running the Iraqi colony. These companies are to act in the name of the government. They are to be paid out of our taxes. It might just as well be the British East India company. The colonial corporations become the instrument of the nation-state, in this case to undertake the reconstruction of Iraq. They, not the government, are the purveyors of laws and customs and democratic ideals.

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0317/mondo1.php

UN URGES SWIFT POSTWAR IRAQ ENVIRONMENT PROBE

Daily News, April 29, 2003

The United Nations must be allowed into Iraq right away to assess environmental threats posed by weapons packed with toxic chemicals or depleted uranium, a senior U.N. official said.Ê

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20612/newsDate/29-Apr-2003/story.htm




7. Environment


WESTERN PRIORITY: ECOLOGY, NOT TAXES

Reported in the National Post, April 24, 2003

Western Canadians’ priorities include a surprising concern for the environment and a view that the current tax load may be acceptable, a new poll suggests. The poll, a sweeping survey of Western opinion produced by the non-partisan Canada West Foundation and distributed exclusively to the National Post and Global National, found that people in the four Western provinces care most about health care and discouraging young people from moving away from the region. Across the West, environmental protection was ranked as a high priority by 64.1% of those surveyed.

LACK OF FOCUS ON KYOTO MAKES LONG-TERM COMMITMENTS TOUGH

Reported in the Financial Times, April 29, 2003

Canada faces mounting Kyoto costs and commitments unless Ottawa gets its act together before the next set of negotiations on the climate change accord, a policy think tank warned yesterday. The debate on Canada’s decision in December to ratify the Accord has faded since Ottawa made a number of concessions aiming to limit its impact during the implementation phase, which runs till 2012. But Gills Rheaume, Vice-President of Policy for the Conference Board of Canada, said the federal government’s short-term focus is leaving the country vulnerable to much tougher long-term commitments, which will be negotiated in 2005.

AGRICULTURE AND FRESH WATER

“More crop per drop: The role of agriculture is essential in resolving the world’s water problems”, Press Release of the Food and Agricultureal Organization of the UN, March 12, 2003

As the International Year of Freshwater, 2003 is an opportunity to focus on the role of water as a precious and finite resource that we must use carefully. To feed an additional 2 billion people by 2030, water needs to be used more efficiently. Agriculture is the biggest water consumer. It uses around 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals worldwide. With a growing world population, agriculture will face more competition from industrial and domestic water users. This is why agriculture will have to use water more efficiently.

http://www.fao.org/english/newsroom/focus/2003/water.htm

DOLLY THE SHEEP FIRM PPL DROPS DRUG FACTORY PLANS

Daily News, April 29, 2003

The Scottish biotechnology firm that helped clone Dolly the sheep said yesterday it had dropped plans to build a large-scale manufacturing plant to extract medicine from the milk of genetically modified sheep. PPL Therapeutics Plc (PTH.L) said delays in developing recombinant Alpha-1-Antitrypsin (recAAT) for the treatment of emphysema, a serious lung condition, meant building the debt-financed factory at a cost of 42 million pounds ($66.82 million) was too risky.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20610/newsDate/29-Apr-2003/story.htm

EU AWAITS HEATED DEBATE ON GM CROP MIX

Daily News, April 25, 2003

Europe’s biotech industry is set to clash with farm and environment groups this week in a debate over whether genetically modified (GM) crops can co-exist with traditional varieties. Due to consumer health and environment worries, the EU has not authorised any new hi-tech crops since 1998, when several member states vowed to oppose any applications for new permits. But the European Commission, which will host Thursday’s debate, is expected to support the biotech industry’s line that the EU should not exclude any form of agriculture and that farmers should be able to grow the crops they choose.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20574/newsDate/25-Apr-2003/story.htm

THOUSANDS OF AUSTRALIAN SPECIES AT RISK - REPORT

Daily News, April 23, 2003

Thousands of Australian mammals, reptiles and bird species face extinction as landclearing gains pace, according to a government report leaked yesterday. The “Biodiversity Audit”, obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corp ahead of publication, said 2,891 individual Australian ecosystems were at risk, with many beyond rescue.

The conservative government, already under fire from environmentalists for joining the United States in rejecting the Kyoto pact on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, declined to comment.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20538/newsDate/23-Apr-2003/story.htm

DUNKIN’ DONUTS GOES FAIR TRADE

“Oxfam America Salutes Dunkin’ Donuts Anouncement of New Line of Fair Trade Espresso Beverages”, Press Release by Oxfam America, April 26, 2003

Oxfam America praised yesterday’s announcement at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) convention that Dunkin’ Donuts would make its forthcoming brand of espresso beverages, including cappuccino and latte, with 100% Fair Trade Certified coffee beans. Fair Trade is a marketing system that guarantees small coffee farmers a minimum price of $1.26 per pound of coffee. This bottom line price improves the coffee growers’ product while enabling them to provide a better life for their children and communities as a whole.

http://www.oxfamamerica.org




8. Other


PETTIGREW ENDORSES MARTIN

Reported in the Globe & Mail, April 23, 2003

International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew has jumped on the Paul Martin bandwagon, the first Quebec Minister to publicly endorse the front-runner in the race to succeed Prime Minister Jean ChrÚtien. In an interview Tuesday, the Montreal-area Minister said Martin is the right man for the job, given his experience as a Finance Minister and entrepreneur.

FOOD SECURITY CONFERENCE

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS, “helping to build a world without hunger”, Committee on World Food Security, (29th Session), Rome, 12 - 16 May 2003

http://www.fao.org/Unfao/bodies/cfs/cfs29/cfs2003-e.htm

POWELL: EARTH DAY REMARKS

April 22, 2003

…In today’s globalizing world it has never been more true that the well-being of the American people depends on the well being of all others on the globe. And whether we live on countries large or small, developed or developing, all of our futures fundamentally depend upon the well being of our shared habitat: This wonderful planet that has been entrusted to our care by a generous God.

http://www.state.gov

GERIC DRUGS STILL NEEDED

“Generic Drugs Still Needed: TAC”, South African Press Association (Johannesburg), April 28, 2003

Insufficient is how the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) views the announcement by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline that it will cut the prices of its HIV/Aids drugs by up to 47 percent for countries eligible for reduced prices. The reduction will drop the price of Combivir, an HIV/AIDS treatment recommended by the World Health Organisation, to 90 cents a day in 63 developing countries, including South Africa.

http://www.oneworld.net/external/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fallafrica.com%2Fstories%2F200304290026.html

FORUM ON SHARING THE “GAINS” OF GLOBALIZATION

SECOND INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON TRADE FACILITATION - SHARING THE GAINS OF GLOBALIZ ATION IN THE NEW SECURITY ENVIRONMENT: 14 May 2003 - 15 May 2003. Geneva, Switzerland. Organized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe, this Forum aims to define practical measures to progress trade facilitation in the new international environment, highlighting possible ways of constructing an equitable mechanism of facilitating trade, and allowing small and large countries and businesses to share the benefits. Workshops on technical issues and intellectual property rights in trade facilitation will be organized in parallel. For more information contact: Mario Apostolov, Forum Coordinator; tel: +41-22-917-1134; fax: +41-22-917-0034; e-mail: mario.apostolov@unece.org

http://www.unece.org/trade/forums/forum03/index.htm




9. Glossary


“Chapter 11” …of the NAFTA on Dispute Settlement

CAFTA United States-Central American Free Trade Agreement

DDA Doha Development Agenda

DFAIT Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

EC European Community

ENGO Environmental non-governmental organization

EU European Union

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

OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

TRIPS Agreement Respecting Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

UNDP UN Development Programme

USTR US Trade Representative

WB World Bank

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