People, Trade & the Environment
Tools & Information for Activists


May 13, 2003

1. WTO (World Trade Organisation)

  • AG MINISTERS TO MEET IN SACRAMENTO
  • WTO MEMBERS CONSIDER TWO MINI-MINISTERIALS BEFORE CANCUN MEETING
  • DFAIT NGO INFO PORTAL FOR CANCUN MINISTERIAL
  • WTO SYMPOSIUM SLATED FOR NEXT MONTH
  • FOOD INDUSTRY LOBBY DAY
  • WTO AUTHORIZES HUGE EU COUNTERMEASURES AGAINST US
  • EU SANCTIONS AGAINST US
  • SARS AND TRIPS REFORM
  • USTR REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL PATENT PROTECTION


WTO & Agriculture

  • SINGAPORE MINISTER SAYS AG DEMANDS MUST BE LOWERED FOR CANCUN
  • CDA-US DAIRY FUED COMES TO A CLOSE
  • CANADA ANNOUNCES END OF DAIRY WTO DISPUTE
  • CANADA DISAPPOINTED WITH U.S. DECISION TO IMPOSE ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES ON WHEAT
  • PETTIGREW CLAIMS U.S. WHEAT SUBSIDIES HIGHER
  • CANADA MAY CONTEST FINAL U.S. FINDING ON WHEAT IN NAFTA PANEL


2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

  • CANADA JOINS U.S. TO FORCE EU TO ACCEPT GMO
  • EU COMMISSION RESPONSE TO US WTO COMPLAINT
  • EU TIGHTENS GMO RULES, CONDEMNATION FOR U.S. GMO AID
  • FRIENDS OF THE EARTH COMMENT ON US ACTION
  • CANADA’S POSITION ON LABELLING
  • CANADIAN GOVERNMENT DRAGGING ON RATIFYING GMO PROTOCOL
  • SOUTH KOREAN WHEAT BUYERS WARN U.S. AGAINST BIOTECH
  • SUPREME COURT TO HEAR LOCAL FARMER VS. MONSANTO CAS


3. Softwood Lumber

  • CANADA TO SEEK WTO REVIEW ON LUMBER
  • DHALIWAL’S SOFTWOOD RESPONSE
  • QUEBEC PRODUCERS IN TROUBLE
  • TRADE RULES AFFECT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
  • FUNDING FOR COMMUNITIES


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

  • WTO STAFF TO DISRUPT WORLD BANK MEETING
  • WORLD BANK WARNS OF EUROPEAN PENSION CRUNCH
  • IMF, WORLD BANK JOIN FORCES WITH WTO
  • GUATEMALA’S BUSINESS AS USUAL INCLUDES RIGHTS ABUSES
  • GUATEMALA: AMNESTY CALLS ON DONORS TO ACT ON ABUSES


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

  • GRAHAM ON THE FTAA-WTO CONNECTION
  • U.S. FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR CALLS FOR U.S. PUSH ON FTAA
  • CONSULTATION: CANADA RELEASES THE INITIAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF THE FTAA NEGOTIATIONS
  • TRADE CHALLENGE LOOMS OVER BLUEBERRIES
  • FTAA: 13TH TRADE NEGOTIATIONS COMMITTEE METING (REPORT)
  • FTAA REPORT ON MULTISTAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION
  • MEXICO PURSUES ‘NAFTA PLUS’ AG STRATEGY
  • GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON NORTH AMERICAN PARTNERSHIPS
  • PUBLIC WORKSHOP ON CHAPTER 11 (REPORT)
  • 32% INCREASE IN TOXIC POLLUTANTS - NAFTA COMMISSION
  • CONSULTATION: INDICATORS FOR CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT - CEC


6. Environment

  • 10 EU MEMBER STATES OFF TRACK ON KYOTO TARGETS
  • GLOBAL WARMING THREATENS FOOD SECURITY OF POOR NATIONS
  • CHR°TIEN ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES AHEAD
  • OIL GIANT LAWSUIT SIGNALS POWER OF THIRD WORLD COURTS
  • BHOPAL VICTIMS ENDURE HUNGER STRIKE
  • WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS IN QUEBEC CITY
  • NATIONAL POLLUTANT RELEASE INVENTORY UPDATED
  • TORYS CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR NATIONAL DRINKING WATER STANDARDS
  • WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2003 - WATER THEME
  • UN SETS SCHEDULE TO TARGET ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
  • PESTICIDE RESISTANCE AND THE WEST NILE VIRUS
  • U.S. WARMS EU TUNA FISHING COULD HIT TRADE RELATIONS
  • U.S. CERTIFIES 39 NATIONS AS TURTLE FRIENDLY


7. Other

  • 2003 CANADIAN ATTITUDES TOWARD INTERNATINAL TRADE
  • PETTIGREW SPEECH AND RELEASE OF CANADA’S STATE OF TRADE
  • TRADE UNION STATEMENT TO THE EVIAN G8 ECONOMIC SUMMIT AND OECD MINISTERIAL COUNCIL
  • ACTIVISTS PREPARE FOR G8 IN FRANCE
  • PETTIGREW “FOCUS ON TRADE AGREEMENTS” SERIES SPEECH
  • PRESIDENT SIGNED U.S.- SINGAPORE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
  • MILLIONS FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS
  • CHILDREN, LAND HIGH ON AGENDA AT U.N. INDIGINEOUS FORUM
  • CANADIAN TRADE MISSION TO ALGERIA


8. 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)


AG MINISTERS TO MEET IN SACRAMENTO

Via Campesina Call to Action for Sacramento, International farmers movement, May 12, 2003

Via Campesina denounces the Sacramento “Ministerial Conference and Expo on agricultural Science and Technology” and insists that governments do not participate in this event. Ministers of Trade, Agriculture and Environment from 180 nations, including all member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO), are expected to participate on June 22-25 in Sacramento California (United States) in a conference hosted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), USAID, and the US State Department. This meeting will be a stepping stone to the September WTO Ministerial in Cancun and the Summit of the Americas on FTAA scheduled for Miami in November.

http://www.sacramentoministerial.org

WTO MEMBERS CONSIDER TWO MINI-MINISTERIALS BEFORE CANCUN MEETING

Inside US Trade, May 9, 2003

Members of the World Trade Organization that met in Paris last week are considering an additional mini-ministerial in July hosted by Canada that would help them prepare the mid-term review of the Doha negotiations in Cancun, according to government officials.

DFAIT NGO INFO PORTAL FOR CANCUN MINISTERIAL

“Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference Information for Canadian Representatives of Non- http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/tna-nac/WTO-MCD-en.asp#ngo

WTO SYMPOSIUM SLATED FOR NEXT MONTH

Zimbabwe Independant, May 9, 2003

Ahead of the 5th ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico in September, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will hold a public symposium next month in Geneva on the challenges faced by member countries. The symposium will be held in the Swiss capital from June 16 to 18.

http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20030509670.2_5caf00161dc36488

FOOD INDUSTRY LOBBY DAY

On the eve of the Cancun ministerial conference in September 2003, a key event for WTO negotiations and in particular for the agriculture issues, the Confederation of the food and drink industries of the EU (CIAA) is organising an Industry Day on the theme: From Doha to Cancun - Challenges and Opportunities of the WTO Negotiations for the Food Sector

http://www.ciaa.be/event_june/index.htm

WTO AUTHORIZES HUGE EU COUNTERMEASURES AGAINST US

“Foreign Sales Corporations: Following WTO authorisation to apply countermeasures of up to $4 billion, EU expects US to ensure compliance with WTO rules before the beginning of next year”, EU Trade, May 7, 2003

Today, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body authorised the EU to increase customs duties up to the level of 100%, for a total of $4 billion of US Trade. This move clears the way for the EU to impose countermeasures to be applied on a detailed list of products notified to the DSB. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said: “…if there is no sign that compliance is on the way at that time, it would then start the legislative procedure for the adoption of countermeasures by 1 January 2004.”

http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade/miti/dispute/pr070503_en.htm

EU SANCTIONS AGAINST US

“EU gets final go-ahead from WTO to impose massive trade sanctions on U.S.”, EurActiv, May 9, 2003

The EU says it will give the U.S. until the end of 2003 to comply with World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling over U.S. tax breaks given to U.S. exporters. The WTO has authorised the EU to apply tariffs of up to 4 billion U.S. dollars over this illegal export subsidy.

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/4111579-76?targ=1&204&OIDN=1505409&-home=home

SARS AND TRIPS REFORM

“SARS strengthens case for drugs at affordable cost: Singapore, others may join India’s stand at WTO”, Business Line, May 13, 2003

…”The emergence of SARS has helped validate India’s stance. Given the US stand that the scope of the Doha Declaration be restricted to 15 infectious diseases - India had pointed out earlier that public health emergencies was something that individual countries need to take a call on, before invoking compulsory licensing - to bring in generic drugs and make medicines accessible to people. The disease list is a dynamic one,” a pharma industry representative, familiar with developments at WTO consultative meetings, told Business Line.

http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20030513670.2_729c001c4a914b8b

USTR REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL PATENT PROTECTION

‘”Special 301” Report Finds Some Progress on Intellectual Property Protection, but Significant Improvements Needed’, USTR Releases Annual Special 301 Report, mAY 1, 2003

…The report found that lack of intellectual property protection continues to be a global problem, and some governments need to take stronger actions to combat commercial piracy and counterfeiting….The report noted that ongoing implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has helped to improve intellectual property protection worldwide.

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2003/05/03-28.htm




WTO & AGRICULTURE


SINGAPORE MINISTER SAYS AG DEMANDS MUST BE LOWERED FOR CANCUN

Inside US Trade, May 2, 2003

Singapore Trade Minister George Yeo this week warned that members of the World Trade Organization must change their current approach to reaching a framework for future agricultural reforms by the Cancun ministerial or risk failure in that September meeting.

CDA-US DAIRY FUED COMES TO A CLOSE

“U.S. & Canada Reach Agreement Ending Illegally: Subsidized Canadian Dairy Exports to U.S.”, USTR Press Release, May 9, 2003

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced an important settlement with Canada resulting in major revisions to Canada’s subsidy programs for its dairy exports. The United States recently won a World Trade Organization (WTO) case that ruled that Canada was continuing to provide illegal subsidies to its dairy industry. As a result of today’s settlement, Canada has agreed to eliminate these subsidies. Consequently, Canada will no longer export subsidized dairy products to the United States and will significantly limit subsidized dairy exports destined to third countries.

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2003/05/03-29.htm

CANADA ANNOUNCES END OF DAIRY WTO DISPUTE

DFAIT Press Release, May 9, 2003

…”We are pleased to see the end of this dispute. By moving quickly on compliance, particularly at the provincial level, we have demonstrated our commitment to respecting our trade obligations,” said International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew.

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/106142.htm&Language=E

CANADA DISAPPOINTED WITH U.S. DECISION TO IMPOSE ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES ON WHEAT

DFAIT Press Release, May 2, 2003

The Government of Canada today expressed its disappointment with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) decision to impose provisional anti-dumping duties of 8.15 percent on durum and 6.12 percent on hard red spring wheat from Canada.

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/106101.htm&Language=E

PETTIGREW CLAIMS U.S. WHEAT SUBSIDIES HIGHER

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 5, 2003

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): …Marketing systems are policy decisions that are made domestically and will continue to be made in Canada….the OECD study acknowledged that the Americans subsidize wheat at $108 per tonne and we subsidize it at only $31 per tonne.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/095_2003-05-05/han095_1430-E.htm#SOB-527131

CANADA MAY CONTEST FINAL U.S. FINDING ON WHEAT IN NAFTA PANEL

Inside US Trade, May 9, 2003

Canada will not challenge a preliminary U.S. Commerce Department finding that imports of durum and hard red spring wheat from Canada are being dumped in the U.S. market, but could decide to launch a North American Free Trade Agreement dispute panel against the U.S. once the decision is made final, according to Canadian officials. If Canada were to take this step, it would likely argue in a NAFTA panel that the U.S. methodology used in the case runs afoul of its own laws, according to a Canadian government official.




2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)


US LAUNCHES GM TRADE WAR

BBC News Online, by Steve Schifferes, May, 13, 2003

Washington has brought a complaint against the European Union for refusing to allow the sale of genetically modified (GM) food or crops, escalating trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economic blocs. The United States - and twelve other agricultural exporting nations - want the EU to repeal its five-year moratorium on GM foods, or face trade sanctions under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3025217.stm

CANADA JOINS U.S. TO FORCE EU TO ACCEPT GMO

“GMOs: CANADA INITIATES WTO PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE EUROPEAN UNION”, DFAIT Press Release, May 13, 2003

In an effort to press European Union (EU) member states to lift their moratorium on the approval of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the Government of Canada is requesting formal World Trade Organization (WTO) consultations.

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/106146.htm&Language=E

EU COMMISSION RESPONSE TO US WTO COMPLAINT

“European Commission regrets US decision to file WTO case on GMOs as misguided and unnecessary”, EU Trade, May 13, 2003

…EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said: “The EU’s regulatory system for GMO’s authorisation is in line with WTO rules: it is clear, transparent and non-discriminatory. There is therefore no issue that the WTO needs to examine. The US claim that there is a so-called “moratorium” but the fact is that the EU has authorised GM varieties in the past and is currently processing applications. So what is the real US motive in bringing a case?”

http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade/goods/agri/pr130503_en.htm

EU TIGHTENS GMO RULES, CONDEMNATION FOR U.S. GMO AID

“MEPs: Importing countries must give resounding “yes” to GMOs”

The EP’s Environment Committee has given support to the amendments strengthening the rights of importing countries in GMOs trade…. The purpose of the proposed regulation is to establish a common system of notification and information for exports of GMOs to third countries by adopting this implementing legislation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety at Community level. “The attempt by the U.S. to exploit temporary food shortages in Africa to force developing countries to accept GM foods demonstrates how urgently we need such regulation. In the guise of humanitarian aid, the U.S. was, in reality, simply trying to dump surplus GM food that nobody wants to buy,” said Rapporteur Jonas Sjûstedt adding to the already strained transatlantic debate over GM products

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/4111579-76?targ=1&204&OIDN=1505338&-home=home

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH COMMENT ON US ACTION

“FRIENDS OF THE EARTH INTERNATIONAL MOMENT OF TRUTH OVER GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOs): UNITED STATES TO FILE WTO COMPLAINT”, FOE Press Release, May 13, 2003

“This may be the moment of truth for the future of GM food in Europe, and future trade relations between the European Union and United States,” according to Larry Bohlen of Friends of the Earth in Washington. “It is clear that this US Administration, backed by some of the richest and most powerful lobbyists in US politics, is determined to use the secretive, biased and undemocratic procedures of the WTO to bully people into accepting food they do not want,“ Bohlen added.

http://www.foei.org/media/2003/0513.html

CANADA’S POSITION ON LABELLING

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 7, 2003

Mr. Bernard Bigras (RosemontPetite-Patrie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, last week, in Ottawa, there was an international meeting to discuss world standards for labelling GMOs. As we know, Canada still does not have mandatory labelling and the voluntary federal labelling process is collapsing….Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, quite clearly, the government recognizes that labelling genetically modified foods to support consumer choice is an important issue for those consumers. Health Canada will continue to work with the standards board committee to develop a standard for the voluntary labelling of foods derived from biotechnology.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/097_2003-05-07/han097_1500-E.htm#SOB-535918

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT DRAGGING ON RATIFYING GMO PROTOCOL

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 9, 2003

Mr. Bernard Bigras: Mr. Speaker, on April 7, the Cartagena protocol on biodiversity was ratified by France, followed by Oman and Tanzania, a few days later. This brings to 48 the number of countries which have ratified the protocol. ÊÊÊÊDoes the minister realize that the protocol could become operational very soon, with the required 50 signatories, and actually hold its first meeting without Canada sitting at the table? Hon. Herb Dhaliwal:…I would think the hon. member would want to ensure that we consult with farmers and with all stakeholders before we move forward.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/099_2003-05-09/han099_1200-E.htm#SOB-541829

SOUTH KOREAN WHEAT BUYERS WARN U.S. AGAINST BIOTECH

Planet Ark, May 5, 2003

South Korean wheat millers, major buyers of American grain, delivered a blunt message that they would boycott U.S. wheat if genetically-modified varieties are approved by the Bush administration.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20672/newsDate/5-May-2003/story.htm

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR LOCAL FARMER VS. MONSANTO CASE

“Canada’s Supreme Court to Hear Schmeiser Case”, CBC News, May 8, 2003

The Supreme Court Thursday granted Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser the right to appeal a Federal Court of Appeal judgment that he had violated Monsanto Canada Inc.’s patent on canola technology….Schmeiser has claimed the Monsanto seeds blew onto his property. The Federal Court didn’t disagree that the Monsanto’s seeds may have blown onto Schmeiser’s property, but said it was Schmeiser’s obligation to destroy the seeds.

http://www.nerage.org/stories.php?story=03/05/09/6530192




3. Softwood Lumber


CANADA TO SEEK WTO REVIEW ON LUMBER

“Canada to get WTO review in lumber battle with US”, Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2003

The World Trade Organization is to investigate a complaint by Canada against US trade policies on Canadian timber exports. The dispute stems from Washington’s decision last year to impose trade duties and antidumping penalties of 27% on Canadian softwood exports. The US says Canada enjoys state subsidies, but Canada denies the allegations and accuses Washington of breaking trade rules in an attempt to protect its struggling lumber industry.

http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20030508670.4_fb0e000433678040

DHALIWAL’S SOFTWOOD RESPONSE

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 7, 2003

Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonqui¶re, BQ): Mr.ÊSpeaker, the situation in the softwood lumber market is the worst the industry has seen in years. Poor exchange rates, falling prices and stalled negotiations do not make things any better….Hon. Herb Dhaliwal (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada announced $356 million to support the workers and the communities….Ms.Girard-Bujold: Mr.ÊSpeaker, workers in the softwood lumber industry are still waiting for the second phase of the plan that the minister promised….Hon. Herb Dhaliwal:…what we really need to do is resolve this issue to ensure that we have a long term agreement so we can benefit from free trade and so our lumber products can go to the U.S. without any duty. That is what we intend to do.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/097_2003-05-07/han097_1450-E.htm#SOB-535833

QUEBEC PRODUCERS IN TROUBLE

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 9, 2003

Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonqui¶re, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the largest forestry cooperative in Quebec, located in Laterri¶re in my riding, is no longer able to pay its creditors. Its president says that the softwood lumber crisis is largely responsible for this situation….

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/099_2003-05-09/han099_1135-E.htm#SOB-541713

TRADE RULES AFFECT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 8, 2003

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago the federal government announced a $2Êmillion program…why is it that the program in question has such absolutely ridiculous criteria that it cannot be used by the CoopÚrative de solidaritÚ Multi-ressources du QuÚbec, where 135 employees are at risk because of the cash-flow situation…Hon. Claude Drouin (Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the program we established was intended to help communities, since we could not help businesses. We do not want to be accused by the Americans of subsidizing business, which is one of the points of contention in the present dispute.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/098_2003-05-08/han098_1435-E.htm#SOB-540866

FUNDING FOR COMMUNITIES

“Call for Expressions of Interest Made to British Columbian Communities Affected by Softwood Lumber Dispute”, Industry Canada Press Release, May 1, 2003

The SICEAI was announced by the Honourable Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources on October 8, 2002 as part of a total federal funding package totaling $246 million. Of that amount, the Government of Canada committed to a $110 million national fund to support communities affected by the Canada/United States softwood lumber dispute. It is expected that at least half the national program allocation will benefit British Columbia.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/cmb/



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


WTO STAFF TO DISRUPT WORLD BANK MEETING

Financial Times, by Frances Williams, May 13, 2003

World Trade Organisation staff plan to disrupt a meeting today between WTO members and the heads of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank as part of their pay dispute. The staff council decided on Friday to begin selective work stoppages in addition to a work-to-rule, and yesterday forced brief suspensions of three WTO meetings.



WORLD BANK WARNS OF EUROPEAN PENSION CRUNCH

“Europe Faces Pensions CrunchRapid, Comprehensive Reform Unavoidable”, World Bank Press Release, May 8, 2003

Countries across Europe, including current European Union (EU) member states, and EU accession countries (EUA) in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe must undertake urgent pension reform to allow their rapidly ageing populations, especially women, to retire without a sharp reduction in living standards.



IMF, WORLD BANK JOIN FORCES WITH WTO

IPS, by Emad Mekay, May 13, 2003

Attempts by global financial institutions to synchronize their policies on developing nations threaten to further entrench a one-sided approach to development, fuel instability, and widen the gap between the world’s rich and poor, watchdogs of the institutions warned Monday….a common approach to world economic policies called the “coherence agenda.”

http://www.oneworld.net/external/?url=http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/wl/oneworld/?u

GUATEMALA’S BUSINESS AS USUAL INCLUDES RIGHTS ABUSES

“GUATEMALA: CRISIS, WHAT CRISIS?:, by Grahame Russell & Annie Bird, May 12, 2003

Despite Guatemala’s racism, exploitation and lack of democracy and rule of law, kept in place by repression and impunity, the whole range of global actors maintain “business as usual” relations with all sectors of Guatemala’s economic, political and military power elites. They contribute Ð directly or indirectly - to the power and impunity of the dominant sectors of society.

http://www.rightsaction.org

GUATEMALA: AMNESTY CALLS ON DONORS TO ACT ON ABUSES

“Guatemala: Grave cause for concern human rights and the Consultative Group”, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE, May 11, 2003

In a newly released assessment of the human rights situation in Guatemala, “Guatemala: Deep Cause for Concern”, Amnesty International warned the international community of the grave deterioration in Guatemala’s human rights situation over the last year. The organization’s warning came on the eve of the 13-14 May meeting of the Consultative Group (CG) of major donor countries and institutions to the Guatemalan peace process. At its last meeting in 2002, the Group called for real progress in implementation of Guatemala’s 1996 Peace Accords, human rights protection and the battle against impunity if CG cooperation monies agreed in principle were to be fully dispersed.

http://web.amnesty.org/library.index/engamr340222003




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


GRAHAM ON THE FTAA-WTO CONNECTION

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 6, 2003

Ms. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ): Mr. Speaker, despite the fact that FTAA negotiations are making some progress, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States is pessimistic, given that the negotiations are tied to a successful outcome at the WTO. Can the Minister of Foreign Affairs give us a progress report, and tell us whether he shares the Secretary General’s concerns? Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, these negotiations are making progress and, naturally, everything is connected. The FTAA is connected to the WTO, to the OAS….The creation of a development fund is one thing that ought to be discussed, but we do have several major banks for this already, including the Bank for the Americas and the World Bank. The Canadian government believes that we now have the tools in place to help the developing countries.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/096_2003-05-06/han096_1445-E.htm#SOB-532816

U.S. FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR CALLS FOR U.S. PUSH ON FTAA

“Grassley Expresses Concern Over Report on Free Trade Area of the Americas Negotiations; Announces Subcommittee Hearing:, Chuck Grassley Press Release, May 8, 2003

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today released a follow-up report by the General Accounting Office on the status of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations, expressed concern over the findings, and announced a hearing to examine the issue.

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2003/p03r05-08.htm

CONSULTATION: CANADA RELEASES THE INITIAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF THE FTAA NEGOTIATIONS

DFAIT Press Release

The Initial Environmental Assessment of FTAA negotiations is the first of three reports to be released….The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2003.

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/tna-nac/consult1-en.asp#ea2

TRADE CHALLENGE LOOMS OVER BLUEBERRIES

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 9, 2003

Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, trade challenges from south of the border are threatening more Canadian jobs. The latest U.S. call for tariffs terrifies blueberry pickers and processors….Mr. Murray Calder (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is premature right now to speculate if the U.S. industry will petition for a trade remedy case against blueberries from Canada.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/099_2003-05-09/han099_1140-E.htm#SOB-541740

FTAA: 13TH TRADE NEGOTIATIONS COMMITTEE METING (REPORT)

DFAIT Press Release

The 13th FTAA Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) meeting was held in Puebla, Mexico, on April 8-11, 2003. It was the first TNC meeting since the Quito Ministerial, and the first under the Brazilian and U.S. Co-Chairmanship.

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/tna-nac/FTAA/summary-en.asp

FTAA REPORT ON MULTISTAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION

DFAIT Press Release

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), hosted a multistakeholder consultation on Canada and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which was held in Ottawa on February 27, 2003.

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/tna-nac/FTAA/multitask-report-en.asp

MEXICO PURSUES ‘NAFTA PLUS’ AG STRATEGY

Food Chemical News, May 5, 2003

Mexico’s National Agricultural Pact, signed by President Vicente Fox last month, calls for the executive branch to enter into trilateral discussions aimed at protecting the nation’s bean and white corn producers within the framework of what Fox has labeled “NAFTA-plus.” Over the past year, populist opposition parties in congress and their affiliated grower associations have put intense pressure on the Fox administration to protect the nation’s vulnerable agricultural sectors from tariff reductions under the North American Free Trade Agreement.


GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON NORTH AMERICAN PARTNERSHIPS

“Government Tables Response to SCFAIT Report on North American Partnerships”, May 7, 2003

The Government of Canada tabled its Response to the Parliamentary Committee Report, “Partners in North America: Advancing Canada’s Relations with the United States and Mexico” which highlights the opportunities and challenges for Canada posed by ever-increasing interdependence within North America and underlines that Canada’s economic growth, prosperity and physical security are tied, more than ever, to the future of the continent.

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/tna-nac/Consult3-en.asp#NA

PUBLIC WORKSHOP ON CHAPTER 11 (REPORT)

“JPAC holds its first regular session for 2003, focusing on matters related to trade and the environment”, CEC Web Site, May 2, 2003

The Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of North America held its first regular session for 2003 on 27 March 2003, in Mexico City. JPAC also organized a public workshop on Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade agreement (NAFTA) on 24 March and participated in the Second North American Symposium on Assessing the Environmental Effects of Trade on 25Ð26 March.

http://www.cec.org/news/details/index.cfm?varlan=english&ID=2533

32% INCREASE IN TOXIC POLLUTANTS - NAFTA COMMISSION

“Class of 15,000 industrial facilities report 32% more pollution”, CEC Press Release

Your local manufacturing, power or disposal facility is likely releasing more toxic chemicals into the environment, says the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). The trinational organization released its annual Taking Stock report today, which revealed that a group of 15,000 industrial facilities across North America released and transferred 32 percent more toxic chemicals from 1998 to 2000. These facilities, with chemical releases and transfers up to 100 tonnes, represent the majority of polluters in Canada and the United States….

http://www.cec.org/takingstock/index.cfm?varlan=english

CONSULTATION: INDICATORS FOR CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT - CEC

“Recommendations for the Development of Children’s Health and the Environment Indicators in North America released for public comment”, CEC Web Site, May 2, 2003

The document is entitled “Recommendations for the Development of Children’s Health and the Environment Indicators in North America”. This document is now open for public comment….The closing date for comments is 2 June 2003.

http://www.cec.org/news/details/index.cfm?varlan=english&ID=2534




6. Environment


10 EU MEMBER STATES OFF TRACK ON KYOTO TARGETS

Euractiv, May 7, 2003

Greenhouse gas emissions in the Union have gone up for a second consecutive year, according to a report published by the European Environment Agency on 6 May.

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/4111579-76?targ=1&204&OIDN=1505388&-home=home

GLOBAL WARMING THREATENS FOOD SECURITY OF POOR NATIONS

OneWorld US, by Jim Lobe, May 12,2003

Global warming (news - web sites) could lead to a 10 percent drop in the production of maize in developing countries over the next 50 years, according to a new report published Monday by two key international research centers in the journal Global Environmental Change.

http://www.oneworld.net/external/?url=http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/wl/oneworld/?u

CHR°TIEN ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES AHEAD

“ADDRESS BY PRIME MINISTER JEAN CHR°TIEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE CALGARY LEADER’S DINNER”, May 9, 2003

We owe it to our children and to future generations to do all that is necessary to ensure clean air and safe water, to preserve our wilderness areas and to address the challenge of climate change. Sustainable development is not a slogan for today. It is the Canadian way. To find global solutions to global problems. We are working with the United States on air and water quality. We are completing our national parks system. And we are playing our role as global citizens. The ratification of the Kyoto Accord was a highlight of this session of Parliament. And we are moving aggressively to implement a climate change action plan which was funded in the budget. And while talking about oil and gas, it is more and more certain that there will soon be an application filed to bring Arctic gas south from the MacKenzie Delta. The government will do whatever is required to ensure an efficient and effective regulatory process. We want to see Arctic gas move quickly. And then we want to see another pipeline bringing American gas south through the Yukon.

http://www.pm.gc.ca

OIL GIANT LAWSUIT SIGNALS POWER OF THIRD WORLD COURTS

Inter Press Service, by Jim Lobe, May 9, 2003

Attorneys representing some 30,000 Ecuadorian Indians have filed a billion-dollar lawsuit against ChevronTexaco Corporation in Ecuador’s Oriente region in a case that could greatly boost the power of local courts in developing countries to hear complaints involving multi-national corporations.

http://www.oneworld.net/external/?url=http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/wl/oneworld/?u

BHOPAL VICTIMS ENDURE HUNGER STRIKE

“Hungry for Justice”, Greenpeace Press Release, May 8, 2003

Eight days into an indefinite hunger strike, two survivors of the world’s worst chemical disaster in Bhopal, India brought the disaster home to top executives of Dow Chemical. The survivors addressed shareholders and leadership at Dow’s Annual General Meeting at its headquarters in the US , demanding that the company take responsibility for the health consequences and environmental impacts of its operations in Bhopal and other communities around the world that have been poisoned by Dow.

http://www.greenpeace.org

WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS IN QUEBEC CITY

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 5, 2003

Mr. Alan Tonks (York SouthWeston, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the week of May 4 to 10 we are celebrating National Forest Week….The Canadian Forestry Association has chosen this year’s National Forest Week theme, “Canada’s Forests, Source of Life”, to echo that of the World Forestry Congress that later this year for the first time will be held in Canada from September 21 to 28 in Quebec City.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/095_2003-05-05/han095_1400-E.htm#SOB-526989

NATIONAL POLLUTANT RELEASE INVENTORY UPDATED

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 5, 2003

Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Environment Canada has just published the national pollutant release inventory. It is the only national, legislated, publicly accessible inventory published for Canadians….The largest polluter is the petroleum and natural gas sector.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/095_2003-05-05/han095_1400-E.htm#SOB-526974

TORYS CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR NATIONAL DRINKING WATER STANDARDS

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 6, 2003

Mr. John Herron (FundyRoyal, PC): Mr. Speaker, it has been two long years since an overwhelming majority of members of the House supported a Progressive Conservative motion to ensure that Canada has enforceable national drinking water standards. It has been two years since the Liberal government promised to act immediately. Despite the tragedies of Walkerton, North Battleford, and hundreds of boil advisories across the country, the government’s response has been lukewarm at best. Canada is one of the only modern countries in the world without national drinking water standards.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/096_2003-05-06/han096_1410-E.htm#SOB-532578

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2003 - WATER THEME

UNEP-WCMC, May 7, 2003

World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The World Environment Day theme selected for 2003 is Water - Two Billion People are Dying for It! The theme calls on each of us to help safeguard the most precious source of life on our planet ? water.

http://www.unep-wcmc.org/

UN SETS SCHEDULE TO TARGET ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

Planet Ark, May 12, 2003

A U.N. commission on the environment and development issued an 11-year schedule last week to address global environmental issues ranging from clean drinking water to waste management and tourism.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20755/newsDate/12-May-2003/story.htm

PESTICIDE RESISTANCE AND THE WEST NILE VIRUS

“Genetic fault linked to insecticide resistance”, Planet Ark, May 9, 2003

Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus and a strain of malaria have developed a resistance to insecticides because of a single-letter mutation in their genetic code, scientists said.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20746/newsDate/9-May-2003/story.htm

U.S. WARMS EU TUNA FISHING COULD HIT TRADE RELATIONS

Planet Ark, May 2, 2003

The European Union’s continued “overfishing” of Atlantic tuna stocks could lead to new trade frictions with the United States, U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans said in a letter obtained. On an issue of concern to both conservationists and sports fishermen, Evans warned EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy of the potential for U.S. sanctions if the European Union does not reduces it harvest of Atlantic bluefin tuna and white marlin.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/20658/newsDate/2-May-2003/story.htm

U.S. CERTIFIES 39 NATIONS AS TURTLE FRIENDLY

“Sea Turtle Conservation and Shrimp Imports”, Office of the Spokesman, Secretary of State, May 2, 2003

The Department of State on April 30, 2003, certified 39 nations and one economy as meeting the requirements set by Section 609 of P.L. 101-162 for continued export of shrimp to the United States. Shrimp from other nations that may have been harvested in a manner harmful to sea turtles will be embargoed.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2003/20152.htm




7. Other


2003 CANADIAN ATTITUDES TOWARD INTERNATINAL TRADE

DFAIT Press Release, May 13, 2003

…the majority of Canadians continue to view trade as a stronghold of Canada’s economy and want to see increased services and advice to exporters and are open to pursuing more trade agreements with other countries.

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/tna-nac/Consult6-en.asp

PETTIGREW SPEECH AND RELEASE OF CANADA’S STATE OF TRADE

“NOTES FOR AN ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE PIERRE PETTIGREW, MINISTER FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE, ON THE RELEASE OF THE FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT ON CANADA’S STATE OF TRADE”, May 8, 2003

Earlier today, I tabled the Fourth Annual Report on the State of Trade in the House of Commons. This document is in effect my Budget; its purpose, fundamentally, is to present to Canadians each year a one-stop collection of all the facts and figures relating to our trade and international investment performance in the past year and to highlight some key developments that have helped shape that performance.

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/eet/trade/state-of-trade-en.asp

TRADE UNION STATEMENT TO THE EVIAN G8 ECONOMIC SUMMIT AND OECD MINISTERIAL COUNCIL

The G8 and OECD governments have the responsibility to give the political leadership required to achieve three central priorities:- The promotion of employment, so as to provide decent work for all; - Sustainable development and trade, integrating its economic, social and environmental dimensions within a strengthened democratic framework; - The reduction of the gaps between developing and transition countries and the industrialised world.



ACTIVISTS PREPARE FOR G8 IN FRANCE

“Days of Resistance to the Gang of 8 (alias “G8”), Evian, 1-3 June 2003”

Since Seattle, every summit, world over, has been resisted, blocked and harassed by ever larger masses of people. This worldwide outbreak of civil disobedience has obliged our rulers to meet in improvised fortresses, or exile themselves to feudal dictatorships of the Middle East and isolated mountain villages.

http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/evian/index.htm

PETTIGREW “FOCUS ON TRADE AGREEMENTS” SERIES SPEECH

“NOTES FOR AN ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE PIERRE PETTIGREW, MINISTER FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE, AT THE MONTREAL WORLD TRADE CENTRE”, May 9, 2003

The Government of Canada is committed to involving the business community in developing and implementing Canada’s trade policy. I know that many of you have an active interest in international trade matters and I am hoping that this series will be the start of a continuing and productive dialogue….Business people can and should play a more visible and leading role in mobilizing support and engendering public understanding of the importance of trade negotiations and agreements. For instance, last year the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Council for International Business wrote an important editorial article in support of Canada’s participation in the GATS negotiations.

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/106138.htm&Language=E

PRESIDENT SIGNED U.S.- SINGAPORE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

Whitehouse Press Release, May 6, 2003

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, good afternoon, and welcome to the White House. I’m honored to host Prime Minister Goh as we sign an historic free trade agreement between the United States and Singapore.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030506-11.html

MILLIONS FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA CONTRIBUTES $3.4 MILLION TO TRADE ASSOCIATIONS TO INCREASE CANADIAN EXPORTS”, DFAIT Press Release, ÊMay 2, 2003

International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew today announced a contribution of $3.4 million by the Government of Canada to 57 trade and industry associations to encourage the firms they represent to export their products and services abroad.

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/106105.htm&Language=E

CHILDREN, LAND HIGH ON AGENDA AT U.N. INDIGINEOUS FORUM

IPS, May 12,2003

If attendance is a gauge of expectations, the world’s aboriginal people will be demanding much of the second session of the United Nations (news - web sites) Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues when it opens in New York on Monday….Topping the agenda will be the welfare of indigenous children, and the two-week meeting will also discuss economic and social development, the environment, health, human rights, culture and education. But underlying most of those issues is the question of indigenous people’s control over land and resources.

http://www.oneworld.net/external/?url=http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/wl/oneworld/?u

CANADIAN TRADE MISSION TO ALGERIA

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, May 7, 2003

Hon. Denis Paradis (Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Algeria is our primary trade partner in Africa and the Middle East. We discussed contracts and partnerships with Canadian businesses. I also announced the participation of Algiers in the sustainable cities initiative. We talked about NEPAD, the new partnership for Africa’s development…

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/097_2003-05-07/han097_1445-E.htm#SOB-535811




8. 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.



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