July 4, 2003
1. WTO (World Trade Organisation)
WTO inaction affecting small economies: Levi, ABC Radio Australia News, July 4, 2003
The Pacific Forums Secretary-General, Noel Levi, has accused the World Trade Organisation of dragging its feet on issues affecting small economies. Speaking at the forum trade ministers meeting in Fiji, Mr Levi said there had been no progress on a work program for small economies, agreed to at a WTO meeting in 2001.
CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES WANT NEW STATUS
Associated Press, July 3, 2003
Caribbean leaders on Thursday urged the World Trade Organization to grant their small economies preferential treatment as they move toward freer trade and increased competition. On the second day of an annual Caribbean summit, regional heads of government met with the WTOs top official to evaluate progress on trade talks ahead of the world bodys annual meeting in September in Cancun, Mexico.
PHILIPPINE GOVT: NO TO UNBRIDLED LIBERALIZATION
TODAY (ABS-CBN), By LAWRENCE AGCAOILI, July 3, 2003
The Arroyo administration has opted for minimum compliance to the liberalization programs of the past administrations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) but would continue to push for greater market access for Philippine products and to nurture globally competitive industries. This was the position presented by Trade Secretary Manuel Roxas II He pointed out that the Philippines should not be afraid to say no to unbridled liberalization but be ready to say yes to the legitimate challenge of international competitiveness during the 5th WTO Ministerial meeting scheduled this September in Cancun, Mexico.
INDIA: FREE TRADE TO HURT SMALL INDIAN TEXTILE CO.S
Dow Jones Newswire, July 4, 2003
The dismantling of export quotas by the World Trade Organization in 2005 will open up the global market for Indian textile manufacturers - but for the smaller players, accounting for a large portion of the industry, the free trade move could lead to their demise . R.C. Kesar, president of the 18,000-member Textile Association of India, said that the large players will be OK, but the middle and small scale manufacturers will be severely affected .My estimate is that 25 percent to 30 percent of the whole industry will go down.
AFRICAN LEADERS MEET TO DISCUSS COMMON FRONT ON THE WTO
African Civil Society Back Ministers, by Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, Public Agenda (Accra), June 30, 2003
A group of African civil society organizations, CSOs, working in trade policy advocacy has urged African Trade Ministers to retain the unity around collective African positions The call was part of a statement issued at the end of a two-day Civil Society Forum preceding the First Session of the African Union Ministerial Sub-Committee on Trade, (African Trade Ministers meeting), which is taking place in Grand Bay, Mauritius from June 19-20 2003 .The African Trade Ministers Meeting is expected to formulate a common African position at the WTO .As a result, interest in this meeting is very high, a fact attested to by the intense lobbying going on within and outside the Conference Centre.
AFRICA TRADE MINISTERS SET KEY WTO CONCERNS
Trade Ministers Worried Over Negotiations, The Times of Zambia (Ndola)
June 26, 2003
The AU ministers of Trade noted that the most critical issues had been the lack of progress in negotiations of agriculture, trade related intellectual property rights (Trips) and public health, special and differential treatment and related issues.
We are deeply concerned at the failure to meet the deadline for the establishment of the modalities for further commitment in agriculture, which is a major setback for the reform programme, reads the declaration in part.
US RUMOURED TO CONSIDER CHANGE IN TACTIC ON TRIPS & HEALTH
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest, July 3, 2003
According to trade sources, the US is considering changing its approach to the discussions on paragraph 6 of the Declaration on the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and public health, shifting its focus from disease coverage to eligibility. This change reflects the position of US pharmaceutical industries, which have reportedly called on the US government to limit the use of the paragraph 6 solution to the worlds poorest countries and to implement strong measures that prevent diversion of cheap drugs to developed country markets.
PUBLIC SESSION ON WTO: ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Event Offers Preview to Issues Surrounding: The WTO 5th Ministerial Conference in Cancun, CIEL Press Release, Geneva, June 16 - 18 2003
CIEL staff organized and contributed to panels addressing trade, investment and the environment in a public symposium in Geneva on June 16 - 18 that convened nearly a thousand participants. The World Trade Organization (WTO) hosted Challenges Ahead on the Road to Cancun, a lead-up event to its 5th Ministerial Conference in September 2003. During a series of panels, members of civil society, academia, governments and the business sector shared views on the WTO and its current negotiation issues - many of which have significant implications for the environment and sustainable development.
CANADA TO HOST JULY MINISTERIAL
Minister Pettigrew to Host July Trade Meeting in Montreal, DFAIT Press Release
International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew will host an informal meeting of approximately 25 trade ministers from World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries from July 28 to 30, in Montreal, Quebec.
WTO & AGRICULTURE
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest, July 3, 2003
The WTO Committee on Agriculture (CoA) special negotiating session met for a formal meeting on 1 July, following a number of informal meetings after Members failed to meet an end-March deadline for agreeing on negotiating modalities (see BRIDGES Weekly, 2 April 2003). The session met to take stock of developments and agree on a progress report to the next Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) meeting on 14-15 July. During the most recent informal meetings, held between 26 and 28 July, delegates discussed, inter alia, special safeguards and special products for developing countries, and the draft report to the TNC.
EU FARMERS CALL CAP REFORM SCANDALOUS
CAP Reform adopted on June 26: a scandal, European Farmers Coordination Press Release, June 26, 2003
The reform, based on the swindle of the decoupling of direct payments, will
accelerate the disappearance of family farmers. The EU seeks for Cancun to sell off European agriculture to the advantage of other sectors . Let us recall that the association of low domestic farm prices, below the production costs, with direct payments decoupled from the production, does not change anything to dumping, i.e. the export of agricultural produce at prices below the production costs, which ruin the agricultural economies of third countries. To base a reform of the CAP on an international swindle is a scandal.
CANADIAN WTO PRIORITIES ON SUBSIDIES AND COUNTERVAILING MEASURES
WTO - Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, DFAIT
Canada identifies certain issues concerning the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures as possible subjects for the WTO Rules Negotiating Group. Read the submission.
AFRICA SPLIT ON SUBSIDIES
WTO: Continent Split On Subsidies, The East African (Nairobi), by Arthur Okwemba,
June 23, 2003
AFRICAN COUNTRIES are sharply divided on the issue of eliminating agricultural subsidies in developed countries, even after agreeing on the need to speak with one voice at international trade negotiations. During the recently concluded Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) meeting where Kenyas President Mwai Kibaki pleaded for a united front on trade matters, some of the trade negotiators privately said the issue was too contentious to be settled easily.
AFRICA, COTTON AND US AG SUBSIDIES - US CONGRESSMAN
Boosting Africas Agricultural Trade, Ranking Member Donald M. Payne, Subcommittee on Africa Hearing on Boosting Africas Agricultural Trade, United States Congress, June 24, 2003
As President Bushs Farm Security Act was signed into law one year ago, increasing Agricultural subsidies by 80%, millions of African farmers pondered the fate of their livelihood cotton. These subsidies have encouraged increased production, particularly of cotton, in the U.S. and consequentially have driven down world prices of cotton and corn. According to the Center for International Development at Harvard more than 10 million small-scale growers in West and Central Africa who depend on cotton as the main source of their annual income have suffered from subsidization as world supply remains high and prices linger at all-time lows.
2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
MEPs open the door to lifting of GMO moratorium; make labelling compulsory, EurActiv, July 3, 2003
The European Parliament adopted on 2 July the two legislative proposals concerning genetically modified (GM) food, giving a strong political momentum towards lifting the moratorium.
FACTBOX - GENE CROPS IN THE EU
Reuters, July 3, 2003
The labelling and traceability of GM food and feed is another key demand of the seven pro-moratorium countries. The European Parliament approved new rules on July 2 allowing consumers to choose between GM and GM-free products. EU member states have to give their final agreement for the legislation to apply across the 15-nation bloc. The Parliament decision raises hopes that the lifting of the five-year old GM ban is in sight, possibly by the end of 2003.
US UNIMPRESSED AND UNCONVINCED BY NEW GMO LEGISLATION IN THE EU
EurActiv, July 3, 2003
The US farm industry sees the EUs new GM food traceability and labelling system a potentially bigger barrier to trade than the informal moratorium on GM food authorisations.
BUSH BERATES EU TRADE COMMISSIONER
US escalates GM trade war: Widespread EU opposition to GM foods, by Steve Schifferes, BBC News Online
Washington has raised the pressure in the trade row with the European Union over the sale of genetically modified (GM) food at the annual US-EU summit. In an unprecedented move, President George W Bush took aside EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy during the high-level meeting to berate the EU for its opposition to GM crops.
ALLAN ROCK LEADS BIOTECH DELEGATION
Allan Rock Leads Canadian Delegation to BIO 2003 in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2003
Allan Rock, Minister of Industry, today officially opened the Canadian Pavilion at BIO 2003, the worlds largest and most prestigious biotechnology convention. Biotech has a very bright future in Canada and around the world, said Minister Rock. Canada is playing a leading role in this rapidly growing sector, contributing significantly to the knowledge-based economy and the quality of life of all Canadians.
GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS 4TH REPORT ON ROYAL SOCIETY GM PANEL FINDINGS
Fourth Progress Report on the Action Plan of the Government of Canada in response to the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel Report on the Future of Food Biotechnology, Health Canada, June 27, 2003
Substantial Equivalence & Use of Precaution: The CFIA and Health Canada are completing the update of their guidelines and directives to reflect advances in science and relevant national and international expert advice regarding the safety assessment of plants with novel traits, novel foods and novel livestock feed derived from biotechnology (commonly referred to as genetically modified or GM). These revised documents now provide better insight on the way we apply the concept of substantial equivalence when assessing the safety of these products.
ZIMBABWE ASKS UN FOOD AGENCY TO DESTROY GM MAIZE
Genetically Modified Maize By-Products Dumped, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, June 26, 2003
The World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe on Thursday confirmed it had destroyed tonnes of milled genetically modified (GM) maize screenings in compliance with government regulations.
3. SOFTWOOD LUMBER
NAFTA Lumber Ruling Due July 17; Panel Mulls Issues, by Gilbert Le Gras, Reuters,
A North American Free Trade Agreement tribunal postponed by two weeks its ruling on the legality of U.S. anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber because a raft of lumber issues remained unresolved, officials said on Thursday.
ALBERTA ACCOMMODATION OF WTO WILL CLOSE MILLS - UNION LEADERS
Rural communities will be hit hard if Alberta changes forest practices: union, CP, by JOHN COTTER Rural communities will be hit hard if Alberta changes its forestry policies to appease U.S. concerns about the softwood lumber industry, union leaders warned Thursday. An Alberta government discussion paper suggests the province is considering lifting regulations that require companies to ship their timber to local mills, said Dave Haggard, national president of the Industrial, Wood and Allied Workers of Canada. Such a move could lead to mill closures and a loss of jobs, he said. Our communities in rural parts of Alberta stand a good chance of closing mill after mill, Haggard said Thursday. It will have a major impact on northern Alberta.
4. IMF (International Monetary Fund) & THE WORLD BANK
Foreign Investors Can Now Access Justice, The Nation (Nairobi), by Peter Mwaura, July 1, 2003
Recently, a central bank revoked the licence of a bank owned by a foreign investor. The procedure followed conformed to domestic law to the letter, and it did not amount to a denial of due process. But the investor was dissatisfied. He complained to the World Banks International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The Washington-based Centre then established a tribunal to arbitrate. The tribunal said the revocation of the licence was contrary to generally accepted banking and regulatory practice. It was against natural justice.
IMF OFFICIAL CLAIMS DEVELOPING COUNTRIES HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE IN TRADE TALKS
Address on Globalization At the Seventh St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
Anne O. Krueger, First Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Russia
June 18, 2003
There is a clear contradiction between these manifest benefits of growth and globalisation and the outcry against them. The protests are particularly bewildering because the gains have come about without many, or indeed any, of the feared side effects coming to pass. Some of the opposition to globalisation is simply misguided. Some reflects a failure to distinguish between relative and absolute measures . Developing countries have nothing to lose and a great deal to gain by acting to deregulate trade among themselves.
EVALUATION OF ROLE OF IMF IN ARGENTINA UNDERWAY
The Role of the IMF in Argentina, 1991-2002: Draft Issues Paper for an Evaluation by the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO)
Argentina was plunged into a devastating economic crisis in December 2001/January 2002, when a partial deposit freeze, a partial default on public debt, and an abandonment of the dollar peg led to a collapse in output, high levels of unemployment, and political and social turmoil. These events raise serious questions for the IMF because they happened while the countrys economic policies were under the close scrutiny of an IMF-supported program. Furthermore, the IMF had been continuously engaged in Argentina since 1991, when the Convertibility Plan fixed the currency at parity with the U.S. dollar in a currency board-like arrangement. While Argentina experienced strong growth and very low inflation for much of the 1990s, it fell into a deep recession in 1998 and, partly because of the strictures of the convertibility regime, was unable to use standard macroeconomic policy tools to engineer a recovery. As the economy slowed and international investors became nervous, the countrys already high external debt service burden grew to a point where the debt became unsustainable . Comments on this draft issues paper and inputs regarding the substance of the issues raised therein are welcome and should be submitted through the IEOs website (www.imf.org/ieo) or by email (email@example.com).
ARGENTINA GETS IMF THUMBS UP
by Tom Gibb, BBC South America correspondent, June 25, 2003
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has reached agreement with Argentinas new president to start negotiations for a three-year debt relief programme to the country over the coming weeks.
POST-GENOCIDE TRANSITION AND A GROWING DEBT: RWANDA
Rwanda: First Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and Request for Waiver of Performance CriteriaStaff Report; Staff Statement; Press Release on the Executive Board Discussion; and Statement by the Executive Director for Rwanda, IMF Country Report, June 27, 2003
Rwandan troops withdrew from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) following the Executive Boards approval of the new PRGF arrangement. Following a period of post-genocide stabilization, Rwanda is navigating a complicated political transition .Rwandas official external debt increased to an estimated US$1.4 billion in 2002
DEBT SERVICING - YES, CONDITIONS MET - NO: IMF REPORT ON THE CONGO
Recent developments on the security front are cause for guarded optimism that the serious disruptions to economic activity will end .With the fiscal balance deteriorating and the servicing of oil-collateralized debt claiming about one-third of total government revenue, external payments arrears on other debt obligations, including to multilateral creditors, continued to accumulate. Besides collateralized debt, the Congo honored only its obligations to the World Bank and the Fund .Only two structural indicators out of 14 were met by the expected date .The public enterprise privatization program has been beset by organizational problems and made little headway in 2002 .Stakeholders indicated that they had not been involved in the discussions leading to the adoption by the government of the programs supported by the Bretton Woods institutions .
5. FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) & NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
June 30, 2003, The Daily Nation (Barbados)
This view was expressed by Henry Gill, one of the Caribbeans leading international trade negotiators, who stressed that the challenges are enormous for the region .As the December 2004 deadline comes closer Gill explained: What we are witnessing for the first time, as these negotiations take place in Mexico is that we are having simultaneous negotiations on three separate subjects, sometimes in a week. You may have negotiations on services for five days - same week, same place another group is negotiating investments, and the same time maybe agriculture and that is very demanding in terms of the technical preparation . . . and the human resources that it requires from the member states and the Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM).
BRAZILS LULA URGES SOUTH AMERICA TO TEAM UP
Associated Press, by KIM HOUSEGO, Jun. 28, 2003
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said greater regional integration would strengthen South Americas bargaining position in negotiations for a proposed hemisphere-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas by 2005. For South American nations to obtain real benefits in long-term trade negotiations, it is important to successfully coordinate our positions, he told presidents of the Andean Community of Nations in a speech made available to reporters Saturday.
BRAZILS LULA IN WASHINGTON
Brazil seeks to rebuild Latin relations, by Steve Schifferes, BBC News Online, June 20, 2003
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is calling on President George W Bush in Washington at a time when US-Latin American relations are at a low ebb. Although Lula was also an opponent of the Iraq war, Brazil holds the key to the Latin American relationship, and President Lula is relishing his role as a bridge between other nations and the giant in the North. His agreement is also crucial for the United States if it wants to proceed with ambitious plans to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas by 2005, linking economies from Alaska to Argentina in a single economic zone .It represents the best opportunity in many months to get hemispheric relations back on track -former Clinton chief of staff Mack McLarty
US UNION HEAD MEETS WITH LULA
Statement by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney on Meeting Today with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, AFL-CIO Press Release, June 20, 2003
I am pleased to have the opportunity today to meet with the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. President Lulas views on globalization, the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and world trade correspond with many of the concerns of Americas working men and women and the AFL-CIO. His proposals for balanced growth, increased employment, decent jobs and more social and economic equality constitute an agenda that US unions support.
LANDLESS OCCUPATION CONTINUES IN BRAZIL
Brazil: Land Reforms Promised to Peasant Activists, by Andrew Hay, Reuters, July 3, 2003
Brazil promised on Thursday to speed land reforms after landless movement leaders met with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but the pledge did little to halt a wave of occupations by peasant activists.
AMAZON DESTRUCTION JUMPS, SHOCKS ENVIRONMENTALISTS
Reuters, June 27, 2003
The deforestation rate in Brazils Amazon, the worlds largest jungle, has jumped 40 percent, sparking alarm yesterday among environmentalists and a promise by the government to launch emergency measures.
US TRADE REP MEETS WITH CARIBBEAN MINSTERS
Zoellick to meet with Cbean trade ministers today, Barbados Advocate, July 2, 2003
UNITED States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick is today meeting with Caribbean Trade Ministers in Jamaica. They will be discussing the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), progress on global trade talks, trade capacity-building, and closer trade ties between Caribbean nations and the United States .Ministers will discuss how capacity-building initiatives can help Caribbean nations benefit more fully from trade negotiations .Negotiations among the 34 democracies of the Western Hemisphere on the FTAA continue with Vice-Ministerial discussions which will take place in El Salvador from July 7 to 11, and a ministerial meeting this November in Miami, Florida.
NAOMI KLEIN ON CDA-US RELATIONS AND THE CHRETIEN LEGACY
Canada: Hippie Nation?, The Nation, by Naomi Klein, July 2, 2003
A little-known clause in NAFTA states that even in the event of a severe energy shortage, Canada cannot cut off its oil and gas exports to the United Stateswe can only reduce the flow south by the same rate as we reduce our own domestic consumption. This dramatic ceding of power to the United States is Jean ChrÚtiens true legacy, which is why, in his final months in office, hes racing to be remembered as a principled man.
WORKERS BLAME NAFTA FOR JOB LOSSES
Plants relocation to take away jobs News 14 Carolina, by Colin Resch, July 3, 2003 For 15 years, Bill Hicks has called the KEMET Electronics plant in Shelby his working home. But on Wednesday, Hicks and 108 co-workers found out that they will lose their jobs within the next two years, when the company moves its operation to Mexico and China. It was kind of a shock, Hicks said. We knew it was coming; we just didnt think it would come this soon. I think its just big business. The government needs to do something about NAFTA. This free trade, its taking all Carolina jobs. Were not the only ones.
CEC MINISTERIAL: RESOLUTIONS INCLUDE 10-YEAR REVIEW
CEC Ministerial Statement, Tenth Regular Session of the CEC Council, June 26, 2003
The year 2004 marks the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the NAAEC. We have announced our intention to undertake a retrospective of the implementation of the NAAEC, as well as an assessment of the environmental effects of NAFTA, and we are nearing completion of the selection of members who will comprise the independent ten-year review and assessment committee. We look forward to the results of their review to guide our work over the next decade.
MARCH AGAINST CAFTA: JULY 26
New Orleans, Louisiana, Saturday, July 26th 2003 2:00pm
Come show the CAFTA summit its not welcome in New Orleans. Meet at Congo Square in Louis Armstrong Park.
DFAIT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF CAFTA UNDERWAY
Initial Environmental Assessment of the Canada-CA-4 Free Trade Negotiations, DFAIT
In keeping with the Framework for Conducting Environmental Assessments of Trade Negotiations, an environmental assessment (EA) of the Canada-Central America Four Free Trade Negotiations is being conducted to help negotiators to better integrate environmental considerations into the negotiating process. The Initial Environmental Assessment is released for a sixty-day public comment period. Send your comments by August 18, 2003.
Reuters, July 3, 2003
The European Parliament fired the starting gun on the worlds first international emissions trading market by voting on Wednesday to cap European industrys carbon dioxide output and let firms trade the right to pollute.
GLOBAL CARBON SEQUESTRATION CHARTER: US INITIATIVE
EU signs global charter on carbon sequestration, EurAvtiv, June 26, 2003
On 25 June, the EU signed an international charter on CO2 capture and storage setting up the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum together with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico, Norway, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US. This Forum, a US initiative, aims to stimulate research into carbon sequestration technologies, to clean up fossil fuels by capturing CO2 at source and storing it for thousands of years deep underground in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
GREENHOUSE GAS OFFSETS: CONSULTATION
Designing a Greenhouse Gas Offsets System for Canada - Discussion Paper, Environment Canada, July 1, 2003
The purpose of this Discussion Paper is to provide a basis for national consultations on the design and administration of an offset system. The paper elaborates on the principles, eligibility criteria, review process and sector-specific design issues outlined in the Key Elements paper circulated in early May 2003.
US GROUP MOVES TO PROTECT TRANSBOUNDARY OWL
Groups Challenge Logging of Spotted Owl Critical Habitat: Thousands of acres of old-growth to be destroyed, Earthjustice Press Release, July 1, 2003
Six conservation groups today filed a federal court challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) approval of timber sales in southwest Oregon old-growth timber sales that by the agencys own admission destroy critical habitat for threatened northern spotted owls. FWS approval, embodied in a document called a biological opinion, dismisses the destruction of critical habitat and fails to analyze the impacts of the logging to the survival of the owl.
KENYA APPROVES MINE DESPITE COMMUNITY UPROAR - CANADIAN COMPANY PROPONENT
Government Criticized for Approving Mining Project, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, June 30, 2003
The Kenyan authorities have been accused of approving a controversial titanium mining venture along the countrys Indian Ocean coast without addressing the economic and environmental concerns raised by the local population .The Canadian company, Tiomin Resources Inc., discovered the rich, titanium-bearing sands along the Kenyan coast in 1997, but the actual mining operation stalled over allegations of bribery, coercion, high-level corruption and lack of a comprehensive environmental impact assessment.
PESTICIDE SPRAYING VIOLATES CONSTITUTION: COLUMBIAN COURT
Colombian Court Orders Suspension of Coca Spraying: Cites risk to human health & the environment from US-financed efforts, Earthjustice Press Release, June 26, 2003
A recent decision by the Superior Administrative Court of Cundinamarca, Colombia, declared that the aerial spraying with herbicides to eradicate coca and poppy crops violates the Colombian constitutional rights to a healthy environment, security and public health.
CDA-US PILOT PROJECTS UNDER BORDER AIR QUALITY STRATEGY
Environment Canada - Air Pollution Prevention, 24 June 2003
Environment Minister David Anderson and Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Christie Todd-Whitman have announced the launch of three pilot projects under the Border Air Quality Strategy.
BACKGROUNDER: DIAMOND MINING IN CANADAS NORTH
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, June 23, 2003
Canadas North has two operating diamond mines and two other diamond projects either in the environmental assessment process.
PREMIER BINNS RELEASES AGENDA FOR THE 44TH ANNUAL PREMIERS CONFERENCE, PEI Premiers Office Press Release, June 25, 2003
The Honourable Pat Binns, Premier of Prince Edward Island and Chair of the 44th Annual Premiers Conference, made public the agenda that will be considered by Canadas Premiers when they convene in Charlottetown July 9th to the 11th. The theme of the 44th Annual Premiers Conference is: Toward a New Era of Cooperation.
GOVERNMENT CONSULTS ON COMPETITION POLICY
Consultations on Proposed Changes to the Competition Act, Competition Bureau, June 23, 2003
The Government discussion paper includes the following proposals: strengthening the civil provisions of the Act with administrative monetary penalties, restitution, and civil cause of action; reforming the conspiracy provisions; reforming the pricing provisions; and allowing for inquiries into the functioning of markets in Canada.
CANADA AT HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION POLICY BODY
Canada to Lead International Competition Network for Third Straight Year, Competition Bureau, June 26, 2003
Canadas Commissioner of Competition, Konrad von Finckenstein Q.C., will lead the International Competition Network (ICN) The ICN focuses on the key issues affecting all competition players, said Mr. von Finckenstein, Compatibility of merger review regimes is of vital interest to developed countries and large corporations, while the role of advocacy and capacity building is of strategic importance to developing countries.
CANADAS FOREIGN POLICY REVIEW: SUMMARY OF ADVICE RECEIVED
GRAHAM REPORTS ON FOREIGN POLICY ADVICE FROM
CANADIAN PUBLIC, DFAIT Press Release, June 27, 2003
Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham today released A Dialogue on Foreign Policy: Report to Canadians, a document summarizing the advice received from Canadians during national public consultations held from January through May 2003. This document represents a critical first step toward fulfilling the Governments commitment to review Canadas foreign policy.
FISH-AND-CHIP TRADE WAR BEGINS
AP, June 19, 2003
CATFISH & COMPUTERS: In a series of rulings on Tuesday, the US showed its willingness to use stiff tariffs in an attempt to protect domestic industries. The US ruled that American catfish farmers and computer chip manu-facturers were subjected to unfair foreign competition and ordered stiff tariffs on imports of Vietnam-ese catfish and South Korean computer chips. The US Department of Commerce rulings Tuesday upheld, with minor adjustments, preliminary tariff determinations that the agency issued earlier in the year.
NGOs: SELLING OUT BY PARTNERING WITH BUSINESS?
EurAvtiv, July 2, 2003
A study developed in cooperation with UN bodies, NGOs and the corporate community reveals that NGOs have increasingly chosen engagement with businesses, rather than confrontation .For-profit consultancy SustainAbility working together with the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme and supported by a number of corporate as well as non-governmental organisations, released a report on 26 June, entitled 21st Century NGO: In the Market for Change. The behaviour of over 200 NGOs worldwide was examined in this study.
RESCUING PROTEST BEFORE BUSH 04
Activists Push Back at NYPD, by Chisun Lee, Village Voice, July 2 - 8, 2003
the Republican National Convention comes to Madison Square Garden next year Angry protesters have claimed police are meeting these demonstrations with new heights of repressiveness, amounting to a pattern of unfounded arrests and abuses. Now, with an eye to the near future, they are pushing back. A look at the activist scene today reveals a number of challenges that together form a multipronged effort to free the streets. New Yorkers want their right to protest to be as firmly entrenched as the police presence will be come 2004.
THOUSANDS PROTEST BUSH FUNDRAISERS
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, June 28, 2003
Demonstrators in California poured into the streets on Friday, June 27 to protest Bushs visit to the state to raise millions for his re-election campaign .In the last week, Bush has been dogged by protesters during his mega-fundraising.
LIBERALIZATION ONE OF FOUR PILLARS OF CDN ECONOMIC AND FISCAL POLICY
Speech by the Honourable John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, to the Economic Club of Toronto, June 25, 2003
Fourth, freer and fairer trade. We have actively pursued trade liberalization through the World Trade Organization and have sought to broaden our trade links with other nations. At the same time, when other countries have attempted to use unfair practices that hurt Canadian interests, we have responded vigorously. These four pillars are the foundation of our economic and fiscal policies, and they have helped produce a track record that has led the way in the G-7.
IRAQ: ECONOMIC AND TRADE PROFILE
IRAQ: Country Profile and Information Update, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, July 3, 2003
In recent years, trade between Iraq and Canada has been limited to products allowed under the Food-for-Oil program. Despite this, exports and imports have been increasing significantly since 1995. Total trade was valued at $761 million in 2000. Canada had a negative trade balance of more than $600 million in 2000.
INDUSTRY CANADA AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)
CSR has a wide range of potential meaning and the first module of this site addresses the issue of definition as well the nature of the challenges calling for public and private sector action on the CSR front.
WHEN WATER AND GOLD CLASH: ARGENTINA
Americas.Org, by Linsey McGoey, May-June 2003
A small town in Argentina tells a giant mining company the environment means more than gold.
SEPTEMBER 11: CONSEQUENCES FOR CANADA (NEW BOOK)
By Kent Roach, McGill-Queens University Press, 208 pages, $60 hardcover, $22.95 paperback
Law Professor has a warning for Canadians: Anti-terrorist law poses dangers. Argues that Canada should resist pressures to adopt U.S.-style post-Sept. 11 strategy
US RICHEST GETTING EVEN RICHER
Very Richests Share of Income Grew Even Bigger, Data Show, by David Cay Johnston, New York Times, June 26, 2003
New data from the Internal Revenue Service, which show that the average inflation-adjusted income of the 400 richest families more than tripled in the last ten years.
250 MILLION CHILDREN WORK TO SURVIVE
AFL-CIO, June 2003
Nearly 250 million children worldwideone in six between the ages of 5 and 17are involved in some form of child labor, working in factories and fields for up to 15 hours a day, seven days a week, making products consumers buy every day: matches, rugs, soccer balls, paper cups, toys, fireworks and shoes.
UN AGENCY SEND WARNING OF FAMINE IN ERITREA
Warning of Widespread Starvation Unless Donors Respond, UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, July 1, 2003
The UNs World Food Programme has warned that unless the desperate food crisis is addressed in Eritrea, the country will face the irreversible spectre of malnutrition and starvation .Eritrea is reeling from one of the worst droughts in its history, the effects of which have been exacerbated by the 1998-2000 war with Ethiopia. Two thirds of its 3.7 million population require humanitarian assistance.
8. QUOTE OF THE WEEK
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.