People, Trade & the Environment
Tools & Information for Activists


September 19, 2003

1. WTO (World Trade Organisation)

  • PETTIGREW’S POST-CANCUN REACTION
  • CDN OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THE COLLAPSE
  • US PICKS TRADING PARTNERS FROM WELL-BEHAVED IN CANCUN
  • US SET TO ALTER TACK ON TRADE
  • US POLITICS AND THE CANCUN COLLAPSE
  • WHAT NOW? NGO EXPERT SPEAKS FROM CANCUN
  • MEXICO TALKS LEAVE A BITTER AFRICA
  • BRAZIL: FREE TRADE IS FINE, BUT ENSURE LEVELPLAYING FIELD
  • RICH STATES TURN BACKS ON POOR ONCE MORE
  • FOR EVERY $1 IN AID, TRADE TAKES $2
  • AFRICA ‘ELATED’ AT WTO RESULTS
  • BLOW TO WORLD ECONOMY AS TRADE TALKS COLLAPSE
  • NDP MP STATEMENT ON CANCUN
  • FOREST INDUSTRY WAS POISED FOR VICTORY
  • FOREST COALITION DUBBS WTO: WORLD TERROR ORDER
  • US CANCUN GOALS INCLUDED EXPANDING WTO RULES TO FISHERIES AND OCEANS
  • AMERICA SET TO TORPEDO TRADE TALKS


WTO & Agriculture

  • SUICIDE HIGHLIGHTS KOREAN FARM PROBLEMS/LEE’S BODY RETURNS TO KOREA
  • WEST AFRICAN FARMERS MAY DROP COTTON AFTER WTO
  • CANCUN FAILURE GIVES TAIWAN FARMERS GREATHING ROOM: OFFICIAL
  • US ORGANIC FARMER DECRIES WTO RULES
  • PM SCOLDS INDUSTRIAL NATIONS ON SUBSIDIES
  • ADDING UP FARM SUBSIDIES
  • LEGAL OPINION: THE VULNERABILITY OF THE EC AND US AG SUBSIDIES TO WTO CHALLENGE


2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

  • CANADA STILL HAS NOT RATIFIED BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL
  • MASS CITIZEN OBJECTION CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
  • TOLERANCE LEVELS INDICATE INABILITY TO CONTAIN GMO
  • GREENPEACE STOPS SHIPMENT OF GE-TAINTED CORN FROM ENTERING MEXICO


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

  • SA: MULTILATERAL INSTITUTIONS NEED REVIEW
  • WORLD BANK/IMF 1003 ANNUAL MEETING IN DUBAI
  • DUBAI GEARS UP TO HOST WORLD BANK, IMF MEETING
  • IMF LOAN ACCORD SEEN AS A VICTORY FOR ARGENTINA


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

  • WORRIES OVER FTAA POST-WTO
  • BRAZIL SEEKING STRONGER TIES: TRADE TOP ISSUE FOR LULA
  • CITRUS TRADE: BRAZIL LEAVES GROWERS LOOKING TO NEXT ROUND
  • FREE TRADE HURTING US ECONOMY: FORMER COMMERCE ADVISOR
  • 2ND CIVIL SOCIETY MEETING ON FTAA: SEPT 23
  • MIAMI GETS BACKING AS FREE TRADE BASE
  • CATHOLIC BISHOPS SPEAK OUT AGAINST FREE TRADE AREA
  • LAND ACTIVIST MURDERED
  • BOLIVIA: PROTESTS AGAINST FTAA AND IMF
  • NO MOVEMENT ON SOFTWOOD DISPUTE
  • TORIES DEMAND ANSWERS ON CDA’S GREATEST PRIORITY: BEEF EXPORTS
  • CANADA ASKED TO EXPLAIN PCBs DUMPING: CEC
  • CDA-CHILE FREE TRADE: ENVIRONMENT SIDE COMMISSION HAS FIRST MEETING


5. Environment

  • STATES SUE EPA OVER PESTICIDE HAZARDS FOR KIDS
  • EU PARLIAMENT QUESTIONS WATER PRIVATISATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
  • AMERICAN NGOs BLASH BUSH FOR OBSTRUCTING EU CHEMICALS REVIEW
  • STATE OF CANADA’S FORESTS 2002-3: GOVERNMENT REPORT


6. Other

  • AMERICA’S RICHEST GET RICHER
  • 80 MILLION COULD DIE NEEDLESSLY
  • FORMER SOCIET REPUBLICS POISED TO SIGN TRADE DEAL
  • UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON RACISM TO VISIT CANADA
  • GLOBALIZING ECONOMY? NOT SO FAST


7. Glossary



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

Many thanks to 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)

BACK


PETTIGREW’S POST-CANCUN REACTION

Speech by Hon. Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of International Trade to the World Chambers Congress (transcript), September 17, 2003

[a longer excerpt has been included as this speech is not currently publicly available]

…One of the reasons we, the basic reason we failed in Cancun is all in all, we had different levels of ambitions….Clearly many around the world thought that there was not enough ambition in the United States and the European paper in agriculture….There was a weak text on cotton where the Africans had invested quite a lot of time in the last few months to build a good case….So when we say lack of ambition, I’m not pointing my finger only at the north. I’m also pointing my finger at the lack of ambition on industrial goods from the developing countries. So the same problem of lack of ambition but we didn’t have the same ambition in the same subjects. That creates a problem.

But where we clashed was on Singapore issues and I know it very well because that is the only thing we discussed in the green room….but that last morning in Cancun in the green room, the African union group of these developed countries said there’s no way. We don’t take any of the four….So we never discussed ag, agriculture in the green room….We need places where we can ventilate frustration andÊdisappointment but for God’s sake, when you come to a trade organization, you come to make a deal….You know, I saw people applauding one another when one was saying I am a victim and there’s a class struggle in the world and this time we will not, fine, we can say all these things. Fine, if it helps you to digest better, I have no problem.

But at the end of the day, we have to make a deal. And that was what was very sad is that we did not make a deal….So let me tell you one thing, we’re sending very valuable work, that was very valuable work that was done in Cancun and in the month leading to it…back to Geneva and I hope very much that there we will be able to pick up the pieces…But let me tell you and I’ll conclude on this, trade is the most wonderful thing on the planet.

CDN OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THE COLLAPSE

“STATEMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA ON THE CONCLUSION OF THE WTO MINISTERIAL IN CANCUN, MEXICO”, DFAIT Press Release, September 14, 2003

Canada is disappointed with the result of this week’s Ministerial, but we will continue to work on getting this agenda back on track and keeping our eyes on the prize we all seek: a balanced and equitable global trading system that benefits Canada’s economy and aids the developing world. We said Cancun would be a midpoint, a collective stock-taking of the Doha Development Agenda. This is not the end of the Doha Round. But it is a clear signal that we must all redouble our efforts to build bridges and find consensus in the months ahead. We remain fully engaged in the Doha Round of negotiations.

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/

US PICKS TRADING PARTNERS FROM WELL-BEHAVED IN CANCUN

“United States To Pursue Trade With ‘Willing’ Partners”, Financial Gazette (Harare), September 18, 2002

US negotiators will pursue trade deals with nations who are ready and willing to reform, not those “living in fear” who derailed world trade talks in Cancun, a senior US trade official said this week….”We will be looking at those countries that wanted to move ahead globally in Cancun, who demonstrated that, who want to move ahead bilaterally,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters during a conference call.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200309180296.html

US SET TO ALTER TACK ON TRADE

THE WASHINGTON TIMES, by Jeffrey Sparshott, September 16, 2003

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade, said he would scrutinize the positions taken by WTO members. “The United States evaluates potential partners for free-trade agreements on an ongoing basis. I’ll take note of those nations that played a constructive role in Cancun, and those nations that didn’t,” he said in a statement. Many smaller nations could find themselves in the hot seat for joining a Brazil-led group of more than 20 countries, called the G-21, that made some of the strongest demands regarding U.S. and EU agriculture policies differences that contributed to Sunday’s collapse.

http://www.washtimes.com/business/20030915-091814-5063r.htm

US POLITICS AND THE CANCUN COLLAPSE

“Cancun failure: what future for the WTO?”, Euractiv, September 16, 2003

…On the US side, the failure has been generally attributed to next year’s presidential election. The agricultural states gave big support to Bush’s 2000 election and agribusiness has been a significant campaign contributor to the Republican Party. The outcome of Cancun left US farm groups, as well as their EU counterparts, satisfied….Following the failure at Cancun, the US was quick to signal that it would move forward with bilateral negotiations. The EU has traditionally been a strong multilateralist but speaking on 16 September, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said this policy should probably be reconsidered….Next steps: Negotiations will continue in Geneva. The WTO General Council is scheduled to meet at senior officials level on 15 December.Ê

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/919902-306?204&OIDN=1506216&-home=home

WHAT NOW? NGO EXPERT SPEAKS FROM CANCUN

“What now?: Statement by the TWN on the events of the final day in Cancun”, by Martin Khor, TWN

…The following now needs to be done if confidence is to be regained, and if the trade system is to be put back on the right track: 1. It is time to reconsider whether the Singapore Issues belong to the WTO… 2. The developing countries have organized themselves better this time and have shown that they are not ready to be bullied into accepting decisions which they are against. The developed countries should respect this emergence of the developing countries in the system and re-think the way they operate in what was once a rich man’s exclusive club. 3. The decision-making system in the WTO should be reformed so that there is more transparency and democracy, so that developing country members can participate more effectively, especially in the drafting of texts. A special committee should immediately be set up in the WTO to carry out these democratic reforms, which were promised after Seattle but never carried out.

http://www.twnside.org.sg/

MEXICO TALKS LEAVE A BITTER AFRICA

The Monitor (Kampala), by Mercy Makombe & Badru D. Mulumba, September 15, 2003

…Two African countries were appointed to chair insignificant committees, the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information Network Institute said on Friday. Kenya chaired the committee on development and Ghana that of miscellaneous issues. “In contrast, developed countries were appointed to chair three committees that [discussed] substantive issues,” SEATINI said in a statement. The most influential committee on Agriculture was given to Singapore. Canada chaired that of investment, transparency in government procurement, trade facilitation and competition. Hong Kong took the committee on non-agricultural market access. “These appointments must be treated with suspicion,” Prof. Yash Tandon, director SEATINI said. “They are meant to give the impression that the third world is participating in trade discussions as an equal partner, but that is not the case.”

http://allafrica.com/stories/200309150298.html

BRAZIL: FREE TRADE IS FINE, BUT ENSURE LEVELPLAYING FIELD

The Straights Times, September 19, 2003

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has expressed disappointment over the failure of the World Trade Organisation talks in Cancun, but said the meeting still scored a positive for the developing world. At the talks, which ended on Sunday, Brazil led a bloc of nations that stood up to the United States and Europe over the issue of agricultural subsidies, which developing nations say unfairly lock their products out of the world’s richest markets. ‘The meeting was a deception because we didn’t manage to approve what we wanted, but we also didn’t permit the approval of what the European Union and the United States wanted,’ Mr Silva said in an address to the 37th National Supermarket Congress. ‘This is something new in Brazilian foreign policy.’

http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/world/story/0,4386,210256,00.html?

RICH STATES TURN BACKS ON POOR ONCE MORE

Toronto Star, by RICHARD GWYN, September 17, 2003

The rich countries the U.S., the European Union, Japan, and with Canada tagging along don’t need the poor countries. So why offer them more than a few tidbits and these only to distract critics back home rather than actually help by cutting tariffs and reducing subsidies on the agricultural products that are the poor nations’ best chance of hard currency exports? For the talks to fail in the way they did, suddenly and totally, though, required an additional X factor. It came in the form of an expression of unconcealed contempt.

FOR EVERY $1 IN AID, TRADE TAKES $2

“World Trade: Facts and Figures”, The Independent, September 10, 2003

We do our best for the world’s poor. Perhaps our aid budgets are not as large as they could be, but we do what we can. Wrong. Through the complex web of taxes, tariffs and quotas that governs trade we take far more from the poor than we give them. For every $1 we give in aid, we take $2 through unfair trade. Unfair trade costs the world’s poor $100bn a year.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=441912

AFRICA ‘ELATED’ AT WTO RESULTS

Washington Times, September 18, 2003

African farm interests and governments welcomed this week the strong stance taken by the developing world in its battle with the wealthy industrialized nations over export subsidies on farm products, and the collapse of the World Trade Organization talks in Cancun, Mexico, on Sunday over European and U.S. agriculture subsidies. “Many of us saw it coming,” Agence France-Presse quoted Boma Anga, a Nigerian businessman working on a state-sponsored import-substitution program, as saying in Lagos. “We knew that unless Europe and America were willing to make concessions, there would be deadlock. We feel that this deadlock is important to us,” he said. “It’s important that the developing countries send a strong message. In a sense, we feel elated now, because that message is getting through. If we must trade on a global field, let it be a level playing field,” he said.

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20030917-092404-2245r.htm

BLOW TO WORLD ECONOMY AS TRADE TALKS COLLAPSE

The Guardian, by Larry Elliott, Charlotte Denny and David Munk, September 15, 2003

…”This is the first time we have experienced a situation where, by combining our technical expertise, we can sit as equals at the table,” said Alec Erwin, South Africa’s trade minister. “This is a change in the quality of negotiations between developing and developed countries.”…”You ask me who is to blame,” said Kenya’s Mr Oduor. “I would say it is those who have been trying to manipulate the process. Those who have been trying to manufacture consensus. The EU and the US, we believe ourselves, are to blame. The Singapore issues were at the centre of the deadlock, all of them. The developing countries say that they are not ready for any of them.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/wto/article/0,2763,1042274,00.html

NDP MP STATEMENT ON CANCUN

[Note that, so far this week, the final episode of CTV’s Canadian Idol was raised more times in Parliament than the collapse of the WTO in Cancun.]

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, September 15, 2003

Mr. Bill Blaikie (WinnipegTranscona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the failure of the WTO meeting in Cancun should be seen as an opportunity to take stock of the whole WTO agenda and the false hope of trade liberalization and corporate globalization. The Doha development agenda, or DDA as it is called, was DOA, or dead on arrival, because there was far too much corporate agenda on the agenda of developed countries, and far too little of an agenda that would lead to meaningful development….

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/

FOREST INDUSTRY WAS POISED FOR VICTORY

“Forestry industry bumped at WTO”, RNZ, September 19, 2003

The Forestry industry went to the Cancun talks determined to get the industry onto the agenda of the World Trade Organisation.

Tariffs cost the New Zealand industry $40 million a year while non tariff barriers add a further $175 million plus lost opportunities. Forest Industries Council chief executive Stephen Jacobi says the industry almost achieved its goal at Cancun.

He says drafts of the final text provided for tariff reductions on non-agricultural products but those were lost in the breakdown in the negotiations.

http://onebusiness.nzoom.com/onebusiness_detail/0,1245,221741-3-166,00.html

FOREST COALITION DUBBS WTO: WORLD TERROR ORDER

“For forests WTO stands for “World Terror Order””, MEDIA ADVISORY, Global Forest Coalition, September 13, 2003

Together with climate change, the WTO style trade is the most serious threat to biodiversity of our times, for is the main engine driving unsustainable agricultural expansion, privatization of natural areas and resources never privatized before, and genetic contamination of crops and nature….At the root of most deforestation processes one can find international trade as one of its major causes”, says Ricardo Carrere from the World Rainforest Movement.

http://www.foei.org/media/2003/0913forest.html

US CANCUN GOALS INCLUDED EXPANDING WTO RULES TO FISHERIES AND OCEANS

“Something is Fishy in Cancun”, Excerpted from The Washington Dispatch, Dr. Robert Ovetz, September 4, 2003

…The U.S. and its allies, under the guise of getting tough on fishing subsidies, are pushing a plan to expand the WTOs authority over our fisheries and oceans. We’ve already seen the WTO recently force the U.S. to weaken its own Turtle Shrimp law. If the WTO is handed more authority, the list of conservation measures on the chopping block will grow: Marine Protected Areas, sustainable seafood labels, and bans on genetically modified fish.

http://www.euronet.nl/users/burghard.ilge/2ndtxt/

AMERICA SET TO TORPEDO TRADE TALKS

The Observer, by Nick Mathiason and John Madeley, September 14, 2003

…A high level source in the UK delegation told The Observer said: ‘It’s difficult to know what the Americans want. They’re staying in their hotel. They’re behaving like the Soviet Union in the Eighties. It’s making it difficult to know what they want.’…Trade Ministers from 146 countries are poised to receive a draft text this morning of an agreement on agricultural subsidies and investment policies. They will have just 90 minutes to respond before negotiators refine a final draft.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1041783,00.html



WTO & AGRICULTURE

BACK


SUICIDE HIGHLIGHTS KOREAN FARM PROBLEMS/LEE’S BODY RETURNS TO KOREA

Associated Press, by SANG-HUN CHOE, September 18, 2003

…South Korea, once a predominantly agrarian country, had just begun its rapid industrialization. The brightest among its young people joined Samsung, Hyundai and other big companies that built cars, oil tankers and computer chips for exports. While the country’s manufacturers benefited from global trade, Lee grew despondent as cheap farm imports flooded in, prices plummeted and debts snowballed….Lee’s desperate act shocked South Koreans and dramatized the plight of its debt-ridden farmers, who are struggling to maintain their centuries-old agrarian tradition while the world’s 12th largest economy finds its farm sector increasingly indefensible against global demand for free trade. On Thursday, 600 black-clad farmers gathered in rain at an airport outside Seoul to receive Lee’s body as it returned from Mexico. They draped his coffin with a national flag and called him a martyr. Lee’s sobbing daughter Jie-hye said her father “died to keep the Korean farm industry alive.”

http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/world/6800316.htm

WEST AFRICAN FARMERS MAY DROP COTTON AFTER WTO

Reuters, September 16, 2003

West African countries has warned that their cotton farmers could be forced out of business after the failure to reach a deal on agricultural subsidies at global trade talks in Mexico. Burkina Faso, Mali, Benin and Chad had jointly called on the WTO to rule on the removal of cotton subsidies paid to farmers in rich countries. They argued that the subsidies distorted world trade, dragged down prices and perpetuated poverty in West Africa, where 10 million people make a living from cotton. “We are not happy at all because the developed countries did not take our proposals into consideration,” Seydou Dao, the treasurer of Burkina Faso’s main cotton farmers association UNPCB said. Over two million people in impoverished Burkina Faso, West Africa’s second largest cotton producer, make a living from cotton, which accounts for 60% of export earnings. “They say we are poor, that they want to help us to fight poverty but they do not buy our cotton at a good price”, he added. “They behave that way because they are stronger and they know we have no choice.”

http://www.sabcnews.com/africa/west_africa/0,2172,65880,00.html

CANCUN FAILURE GIVES TAIWAN FARMERS GREATHING ROOM: OFFICIAL

Taiwan Headlines, September 18, 2003

The failure of the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico, has provided the time that Taiwanese farmers need to transform their business, a top agriculture official said on Wednesday after returning from the talks. “The breakdown of the trade talks on agricultural issues is actually not bad news for Taiwan,” said Lee Ching-lung, chairman of the Council of Agriculture. “The result has simply given a longer grace period for our farmers to cushion the impact brought by the proposed immediate market opening,” Lee said. Farmers have found it hard to survive in the face of increased tax-free imports following the nation’s accession to the WTO in January last year, Lee said.Ê

http://www.taiwanglobe.com/p/ea/e72faa41bf9c.html?id=163352d

US ORGANIC FARMER DECRIES WTO RULES

“Farmer from OCA Delegation in Cancun Denounces Industrial Agriculture”, JAMES P. GOODMAN, WONEWOC, WISCONSIN ORGANIC FARMER, Statement to the Campesino Forum, September 9, 2003

…Just as our industrial agricultural system dictates which crops will be raised and what prices will be paid, it also enslaves not only the farmers of the north, but you the campesinos, the indigenous and the landless of the south. Northern farmers are caught in the trap of buying the genetically modified (GM) seeds, the chemicals and the fertilizers that the multi-national corporations force them to accept. We are all prisoners.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/farmer_industrial_agriculture.cfm

PM SCOLDS INDUSTRIAL NATIONS ON SUBSIDIES

CBC News, September 16, 2003

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien criticized industrial nations Tuesday after they failed to reach a deal on reducing farm subsidies. “When will we stop this nonsense of giving so much subsidies that a cow in some countries gets more money than any child?” Chrétien said to an international conference of chambers of commerce in Quebec City.

http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/09/16/Chrétien_wto030916

ADDING UP FARM SUBSIDIES

BBC News, by Rachel Clarke, August 27, 2003

Kenyan farmers like Harrison Amukoyi could find new markets The world’s poorer countries lose a total of $24bn (£15.3bn) a year because of the subsidies paid to farmers by rich nations, according to new research by economists in Washington.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3183139.stm

LEGAL OPINION: THE VULNERABILITY OF THE EC AND US AG SUBSIDIES TO WTO CHALLENGE

Richard Steinberg and Tim Josling have written a paper on the end of the Peace Clause, When the Peace Ends: The Vulnerability of EC and US Agricultural Subsidies to WTO Legal Challenge

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=413883



2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

BACK


CANADA STILL HAS NOT RATIFIED BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, September 17, 2003

Mr. Bernard Bigras: Mr. Speaker, the Cartagena protocol on biosafety has come into force without Canada, which means that Canada is not part of the international consensus on GMO control. If it wants to take part in the first implementation meeting scheduled for February 23 to 27, 2004, in Kuala Lumpur, Canada must ratify the protocol by November 22….Hon. David Anderson (Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, no decision has been taken on ratification because we are still engaged in consultation with stakeholders, particularly stakeholders in the agricultural sector….

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/

MASS CITIZEN OBJECTION CAMPAIGN LAUNCH

“Genetically Modified Food: Public Bite Back in GM Trade War”, Friends of the Earth Europe Press Release, September 11, 2003.

Stakes were raised today in the Europe-US trade dispute over genetically modified (GM) food and farming as a new alliance of civil society groups pledged to create an unprecedented mass citizen objection to the dispute. The organisations involved, spanning more than 140 countries, aim to collect objections from citizens from all 146 World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries, as a challenge to the WTO’s secretive trade dispute mechanisms.

http://www.bite-back.org/

TOLERANCE LEVELS INDICATE INABILITY TO CONTAIN GMO

“GMO experts: Co-existence rules should be established by Member States”, Euractiv, September 16, 2003

As part of the ongoing debate on the difficulties of separating GMOs from conventional crops, the Parliament held a hearing on the issues surrounding co-existence with a view to table an own-initiative report….The new EU directive on genetically modified food and feed from July 2003 introduces a tolerance level of 0.9 per cent of accidental GMOs in conventional organisms below which GMOs will not have to be labelled (see EurActiv, 23 July 2003). It is, however, practically impossible today for farmers to achieve 100 per cent non-genetically modified products. The Commission therefore recently published guidelines suggesting a tolerance level of 0.3-0.7 per cent of incidental presence of GMOs in seeds.

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/919902-306?204&OIDN=1506215&-home=home

GREENPEACE STOPS SHIPMENT OF GE-TAINTED CORN FROM ENTERING MEXICO

“Greenpeace Stops Ship Carrying Contaminated Corn;

Activists Enforce International Law To Keep GMOs From Entering Mexico”, Greenpeace Press Release, U.S. Newswire, September 12, 2003

This morning, two Greenpeace activists, from Argentina and Mexico, attached themselves to the anchor chain of a ship carrying 40,000 tons of genetically engineered corn destined for the port of Veracruz, the largest port in Mexico. This action reinforces the Mexican government’s rights to reject U.S. genetically engineered (GE) corn, put in place yesterday….The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety entered into force yesterday- a treaty, which Mexico has ratified.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/tainted_corn.cfm



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

BACK


SA: MULTILATERAL INSTITUTIONS NEED REVIEW

“WTO - Roles of Multilateral Institutions Need Review, Says Manuel”, Business Day, by Linda Ensor, September 18, 2003

…There was a strong case in the post-Cancun global context to rethink the role of multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said yesterday on the eve of his departure for Dubai. He will be attending the annual meetings of the two institutions which are being held in the wake of the collapse of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Cancun.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200309180182.html

WORLD BANK/IMF 1003 ANNUAL MEETING IN DUBAI

IFI Watch

After the collapse of Cancun discussions, the next stop for world leaders and officials on the multilateral tour is Dubai. Unlike in Cancun, however, civil society representatives will be largely conspicuous by their absence.

http://www.ifiwatchnet.org/

DUBAI GEARS UP TO HOST WORLD BANK, IMF MEETING

Associated Press, September 19, 2003

The tiny emirate of Dubai in the Gulf, as the first Arab host of an annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), has spared no effort to ensure its success…. Beyond security, preparation has meant building a US$231-million (S$400-million) convention centre linked to hotels and equipped with restaurants, cell phone shops and computer stations hooked to the Internet. A fleet of 250 custom-ordered limousines and some 290 buses will be available for delegates who want to venture outside the conference hall.

http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/world/story/0,4386,210531,00.html?

IMF LOAN ACCORD SEEN AS A VICTORY FOR ARGENTINA

Reuters, by Alistair Scrutton, September 11, 2003

A victory for Argentina. A cave-in by the International Monetary Fund. Those were common reactions on Thursday to the government’s new loan deal with the IMF, widely seen as a victory for the battered nation that wrung concessions from a lender famed in Latin America for forcing hated spending cuts on governments. Despite refusing to comply with many IMF demands and defaulting on a loan earlier this week, Argentina clinched on Wednesday a deal covering $21 billion in debt that is key to helping Latin America’s No. 3 economy back into world markets.

http://www.americas.org/



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

BACK


WORRIES OVER FTAA POST-WTO

Miami Herald, by JANE BUSSEY, September 16, 2003

Failed world trade talks in Mexico dashed the free trade community’s hopes for an early victory on global trade. Now, the same volatile issues and Brazil’s emergence at the forefront of developing world demands are certain to define the November gathering of hemispheric trade ministers in Miami to discuss the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas…..Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim called the FTAA negotiations an ‘’important endeavor,’’ but suggested that Brazil would not go along with a broad agenda. ‘’It has a good chance of success if we are pragmatic,’’ Amorim told The Herald. ‘’If we overload it, as we overloaded the WTO, than we may have some difficulties.’’ Between jobs losses in the United States and major agricultural issues involving low-cost producer Brazil and key farm states, such as Florida, the FTAA faces political problems, especially with U.S. presidential elections less than a year after the Miami meeting.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/6782350.htm

BRAZIL SEEKING STRONGER TIES: TRADE TOP ISSUE FOR LULA

Miami Herald, by ANDREW DOWNIE, September 13, 2003

Trying to resist U.S. influence in Latin America and fulfill a dream of bringing the region’s countries together, Brazilian President Luiz In½cio Lula da Silva has been stepping up his efforts to strengthen the Mercosur trading bloc and the alliance now engaged in free-trade talks with the United States. In recent weeks, Brazil has offered substantial trade incentives to Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela, either through credit lines or free-trade deals, while Lula visited Lima and Caracas. He offered $1 billion in trade loans to Venezuelan President Hugo Ch½vez, and in Lima signed an accord giving Peru ‘’partnership’’ status in Mercosur, now made up of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/6759130.htm

CITRUS TRADE: BRAZIL LEAVES GROWERS LOOKING TO NEXT ROUND

Naples News, by Laura Layden, September 18, 2003

Brazil, the world’s No. 1 orange juice producer, flexed its muscle at the World Trade Organization meeting that ended in Cancun on Sunday, and that has Florida citrus growers concerned. The state’s citrus growers were in Mexico for the five-day meeting to carry the message that there should be no more cuts in the tariff the United States charges on Brazilian orange juice. Further cuts will devastate Florida’s $9.1 billion citrus industry, growers say….”I think Brazil is a 500-pound gorilla and they shook the cage in Mexico,” said Robert Coker, a senior vice president for U.S. Sugar Corp. and Southern Gardens Citrus in Clewiston. Now that the WTO meeting has concluded, Florida’s citrus growers wonder how the power Brazil showed in Cancun might affect discussions for a Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement.

http://www.naplesnews.com/03/09/business/e5294a.htm

FREE TRADE HURTING US ECONOMY: FORMER COMMERCE ADVISOR

Herald Tribune, by A.K. Krieg, September 19, 2003

NAFTA was passed over my strenuous objections while I was an adviser to the U.S. Department of Commerce. It has proven a total disaster for America and Canada. Prior to NAFTA, America had an annual $5.6 billion trade surplus with Mexico. In 2002, we had developed a $34 billion deficit. The Free Trade Area of the Americas is to encompass all the nations of the Caribbean basin except Cuba, and all of South and Central America 34 nations with a combined population base double ours but with a standard of living that is fractional compared with ours. FTAA would devastate our economy.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/

2ND CIVIL SOCIETY MEETING ON FTAA: SEPT 23

DFAIT Press Release

The FTAA Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) instructed in April 2003 the Committee of Government Representatives on the Participation of Civil Society to organise a series of Thematic Meetings open to all sectors of civil society on issues related to the FTAA negotiations….A Second Thematic Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 23, in Santiago, Chile, and will address the issue of services, with particular emphasis on telecommunications, professional services, and cultural industries. Other sectors of interest to civil society participants will also be discussed. The notice and agenda of this meeting are available on the official FTAA website at

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/tna-nac/ftaa_neg-en.asp#cs

MIAMI GETS BACKING AS FREE TRADE BASE

Miami Herald, by CHRISTINA HOAG, September 18, 2003

Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle on Wednesday became the first president of a Latin American or Caribbean country to officially back Miami as the site for the headquarters of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. The South American’s endorsement marked a significant boost for local leaders, who are facing stiff competition from Panama and Trinidad and Tobago for the designation. Other contenders viewed as long shots are Atlanta and Puebla, Mexico. ..His support [Batlle] comes 13 months after the White House granted Uruguay an emergency $1.5 billion bridge loan that enabled the country’s shuttered banks to reopen. They had shut down after a huge run by customers nervous that banks were about to collapse.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/6802768.htm

CATHOLIC BISHOPS SPEAK OUT AGAINST FREE TRADE AREA

Inter Press Service News Agency, by Raúl Pierri

The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) looks less like a true regional integration project than a ‘’neo-colonialist’’ plan that will make poor communities even poorer and will not respect national sovereignty, said the Catholic bishops of the members of South America’s largest trade bloc.

http://www.americas.org/

LAND ACTIVIST MURDERED

Colombia Indymedia, Septemebr 10, 2003

On September 7, two hired assassins on a motorcycle shot to death Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) organizer Luciano Alves da Silva as he returned to the Dom Hélder Cámara settlement in Craibas municipality, in the northeastern Brazilian state of Alagoas. Da Silva was the coordinator of the settlement’s “July 25 nucleus,” and had organized MST road blockades in Alagoas state this past August. He was the 21st MST activist murdered so far this year.

http://www.americas.org/

BOLIVIA: PROTESTS AGAINST FTAA AND IMF

“Protests Swell”, AFP, September 11, 2003

On September 8, hundreds of Bolivian unionists and campesinos arrived in La Paz after marching from Caracollo, in Oruro department, and from other areas of the country. The marchers were protesting plans to export Bolivian gas to the United States through Chile or Peru under an International Monetary Fund (IMF)-sponsored deal (instead they want the gas used in Bolivia to create jobs); rejecting Bolivian participation in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA); and protesting government measures, including a new tax code and a “citizen security” law.

http://www.americas.org/

NO MOVEMENT ON SOFTWOOD DISPUTE

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, September 15, 2003

Mr. Bill Blaikie (WinnipegTranscona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I could put it more eloquently, but certainly when it comes to quality and quantity, there is something wrong with the Liberal leadership race. That is not what I wanted to ask the Prime Minister about…I wish to ask the Prime Minister with respect to softwood lumber, for instance, when will he get tough with the Americans and tell them if they keep this up, despite Canada winning court battles, that we will start to link softwood lumber exports to oil and gas if they do not start treating this country fairly? Right Hon. Jean ChrÚtien (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, what he is doing at this moment is the best recipe to ensure that we make no progress at all. At the moment we have won many cases in front of the international courts on these subjects. We are making progress. The level of export to the United States is still very high. However just to blackmail our partners on that I do not think is a very practical instrument.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/

TORIES DEMAND ANSWERS ON CDA’S GREATEST PRIORITY: BEEF EXPORTS

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, September 17, 2003

Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou Antigonish Guysborough, PC): Mr. Speaker, there should be no greater priority in the country right now for the government than addressing the BSE crisis and getting the border open. It has been 120 days since the nightmare began. The government has been ineffective and unable to get the border open….Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that there has been no priority of greater significance to the government….We have met with some success but more is sought. We will not rest until the border is open.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/

CANADA ASKED TO EXPLAIN PCBs DUMPING: CEC

“CEC requests response from Canada to the Montreal Technoparc submission”, CEC Press Release, September 17, 2003

The Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has requested a response from Canada regarding allegations that the government of Canada is failing to effectively enforce the federal Fisheries Act in regard to the alleged discharge to the St. Lawrence River of toxic pollutants from the Technoparc site in Montreal….The submitters assert that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other pollutants are being discharged from the Technoparc, the site of an historic industrial and municipal waste landfill….Canada has up to 60 days to provide its response.

http://www.cec.org/news/details/index.cfm?varlan=english&ID=2567

CDA-CHILE FREE TRADE: ENVIRONMENT SIDE COMMISSION HAS FIRST MEETING

Environment Canada Press Release, 4th Regular Session of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation

October 24, 2003, Gatineau, Canada

It is my pleasure to inform you that the Council of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation will hold its Fourth Regular Session on Friday, October 24th, at the ChÅteau Cartier in Gatineau, Canada. This Meeting will provide David Anderson, Canada’s Minister for the Environment and Gianni López Ramírez, Executive Director of the National Commission for the Environment of Chile (CONAMA) with an opportunity to review the implementation of the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (CCAEC) and to study priorities for further cooperation.

http://can-chil.gc.ca/English/Profile/Council/Documents/2003_invitation.cfm



5. Environment

BACK


STATES SUE EPA OVER PESTICIDE HAZARDS FOR KIDS

Albany (New York) Times Union, by Erin Duggan, September 16, 2003

Four state attorneys general, including New York’s Eliot Spitzer, charged in a lawsuit Monday that the federal Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect children from the risks of eating pesticide-tainted food.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/Toxic/pesticides_kids.cfm

EU PARLIAMENT QUESTIONS WATER PRIVATISATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Euractive, September 8, 2003

On 4 September 2003, the Parliament adopted a resolution stressing that access to drinking water in a sufficient quantity and of a sufficient quality is a basic human right and that water cannot be considered simply as a good. Currently, 1.7 billion people have no access to drinking water and more than 3 billion no access to sanitation.

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/919902-306?204&OIDN=1506138&-home=home

AMERICAN NGOs BLASH BUSH FOR OBSTRUCTING EU CHEMICALS REVIEW

Euractive, September 9, 2003

More than 70 health care and environmental organisations in the US urged the Bush administration to stop undermining the EU’s chemical policy reform on behalf of the chemical industry.

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/919902-306?204&OIDN=1506176&-home=home

STATE OF CANADA’S FORESTS 2002-3: GOVERNMENT REPORT

The State of Canada’s Forests 2002-2003

Narural Resources Canada

http://www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/cfs-scf/national/what-quoi/sof/latest_e.html



6. Other

BACK


AMERICA’S RICHEST GET RICHER

BBC News, September 19, 2003

America’s richest tycoons increased their personal wealth over the past 12 months, partly reversing a two-year decline, according to Forbes magazine’s annual snapshot of America’s super-wealthy.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3121428.stm

80 MILLION COULD DIE NEEDLESSLY

BBC News, September 18, 2003

More than 80 million children and mothers will needlessly die in the developing world by 2015 unless urgent action is taken, say UK aid agencies. The international community has pledged to significantly cut child and mother mortality rates over the next 12 years. But in a report, ahead of the annual meeting of the World Bank and IMF, aid agencies said the situation in many countries is getting worse rather than better.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3119664.stm

FORMER SOCIET REPUBLICS POISED TO SIGN TRADE DEAL

Globe and Mail, by MARK MacKINNON, September 18, 2003

The presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus gather today in the Black Sea port of Yalta where they plan to sign a document that critics say is a big step toward recreating the Russian regional hegemony that existed during the time of the Soviet Union. The four countries, all former Soviet republics, agreed to create a “Common Economic Space” a sort of free-trade zone that calls for them to open their borders to trade, unify their tax and customs systems and devise shared tariff and energy-transport policies.

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030918.urussn/BNStory/International

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON RACISM TO VISIT CANADA

DFAIT Press Release, September 16, 2003

Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham today announced that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diène, is visiting Canada from September 15 to 26, 2003.

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/

GLOBALIZING ECONOMY? NOT SO FAST

The Christian Science Monitor, by Peter Grier and Faye Bowers

The movement toward greater economic integration of nations - one of the most profound global trends of the age - hit trouble this week. In Sweden voters said “no, thanks” to adopting the single currency of the European Union. In Cancun, Mexico, global trade talks collapsed, derailing efforts to continue lowering tariffs and other barriers to trade.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0917/p01s01-wogi.html



7. Glossary

BACK


“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

GATS General Agreement on Trade in Services

GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

GMOs Genetically Modified Organisms

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




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