People, Trade & the Environment
Tools & Information for Activists


March 30, 2004

1. WTO (World Trade Organisation)

  • WTO: DOHA AGREEMENT BY JULY
  • WTO RULES AGAINST U.S. GAMING
  • WTO RULES IN CANADA’S FAVOUR ON SOFTWOOD LUMBER
  • US INITIATES WTO CHALLENGE AGAINST CHINA TAX POLICY
  • US FILES WTO CASE AGAINST CHINA


WTO & Agriculture

  • NO SIGNS OF CONCESSIONS BY US, EC IN WTO FARM TALKS
  • US CALLS AG NEGOTIATIONS “ENGOURAGING”
  • CANADA LEADS DEAL TO GET FARM DEAL
  • WTO AGRICULTURE WEEK: NO NEGOTIATING BREAKTHROUGH EXPECTED
  • EU TRADE CHIEF RAPS WTO CHIEF OVER FARM SUBSIDIES
  • PACE ON AG TALKS INCREASES


2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

  • WORLD’S LARGEST BIO TECH EVENT - SAN FRANSISCO IN JUNE
  • REMINDER: CANADIAN CONSULTATIONS ON ORGANIC


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

  • MASS RALLY AGAINST THE IMF: APRIL
  • RACE FOR NEW IMF CHIEF INTENSIFIES
  • IMF ADMITS MISTAKE IN ARGENTINA
  • IMF LAMBASTED FOR FAILURES (NIGERIA)
  • IMF HEAPS PRAISE ON CANADA


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

  • US AND PANAMA BEGIN FTA NEGOTIATIONS ON APRIL 26
  • US AND COLOMBIA BEGIN FTA NEGOTIATIONS ON APRIL 26
  • FTAA NEGOTIATIONS POSTPONED FOR A MONTH
  • LAW SUIT FILED OVER “MIAMI MODEL” SECURITY EFFORT
  • LITMUS TEST FOR CAFTA IN COSTA RICA
  • FREE TRADE ONE OF FIVE ECONOMIC PILLARS FOR CDA


5. Environment

  • UK STUDY EVIDENCE OF EXTINCTION CRISIS
  • DEAD ZONES EMERGING AS BIG THREAT TO TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FISH STOCKS
  • US, OTHERS DELAY ELIMINATION OF DAMAGING PESTICIDE
  • UN URGES RUSSIA TO SAVE CLIMATE PLAN
  • EU TRADE CHIEF ON ‘FAIR TRADE’
  • GLOBAL WARMING SPIRALS UPWARDS
  • FED-PROV CLIMATE CHANGE AGREEMENT SIGNED
  • ENVIRONMENT CANADA’S CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL INNIVATION WEBSITE
  • THE ENVIRONMENT WEDGE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
  • 15 YEARS AFTER EXXON VALDEZ: A LEGACY OF POLLUTION AND BETRAYAL


6. Other

  • SPRINGTIME IN WASHINGTON - THE LOBBYISTS ARE OUT
  • PETERSON SPEAKS AT TRADE POLICY DAY
  • CANADA-EU INVESTMENT DEAL
  • POOR NATIONS MAY SOON GET AIDS MEDICINE


7. Glossary



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

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


WTO: DOHA AGREEMENT BY JULY

DTN, March 29, 2004

Agriculture negotiators with the World Trade Organization decided in Geneva last week to meet monthly through July in hopes of reaching some kind of agreement to move the Doha Development Round ahead, but they also downgraded their expectations of what that agreement could entail, a WTO source told DTN. The negotiators believe if an agreement is not reached by the end of July, no agreement will be reached until next year. After July 31, U.S. officials will be busy with the elections and European officials will be preparing to appoint new commissioners after the departure of EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler Oct. 31, the WTO source said.

http://www.news.farmpage.com/index.cfm?show=4&id=11400

WTO RULES AGAINST U.S. GAMING

“World Trade Organization rules U.S. online gaming policy breaks law”, Thoroughbred Times, March 26, 2004

The United States’s policy banning online gambling is in violation of international trade law, according to a recent ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO), a decision that has sparked an uproar in the Bush administration and among members of Congress.

The Bush administration promised to appeal the decision, while several members of Congress declared they would rather see an international trade war or pull out of the from the WTO rather than let that organization order social policies in the U.S., the New York Times reports.

http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/todaysnews/newsview.asp?recno=43488&subsec=1

WTO RULES IN CANADA’S FAVOUR ON SOFTWOOD LUMBER

DFAIT Press Release, March 22, 2004

International Trade Minister Jim Peterson welcomed a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel report released today that found the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) threat of injury determination to be inconsistent with the United States’ WTO obligations….The panel found that the key factor on which the U.S. relied to make its threat of injury determinationan imminent and likely surge in imports of softwood lumber products from Canadawas not a determination “that could have been reached by an objective and unbiased investigating authority.”

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

US INITIATES WTO CHALLENGE AGAINST CHINA TAX POLICY

Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, March 24, 2004

Recent trade tensions between the US and China reached a new level this week as the US filed a WTO complaint against China on 18 March. The US complaint the first against China since it joined the WTO in late 2001 contends that China’s value added tax (VAT) rebate policy gives domestically manufactured semiconductors an unfair advantage over foreign producers of semiconductors….The filing initiates a 60-day consultation period, after which the US can request a dispute settlement panel.

http://www.ictsd.org/weekly/04-03-24/wtoinbrief.htm#1

US FILES WTO CASE AGAINST CHINA

“Over Discriminatory Taxes That Hurt U.S. Exports”, USTR Press Release, March 18, 2004

WASHINGTON ÐU.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick announced today that the United States has filed a case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding China’s discriminatory tax rebate policy for integrated circuits. Today’s action begins a 60-day consultation period required under WTO rules. China provides preferential tax treatment to integrated circuits produced in China, thereby disadvantaging U.S. and other imports. The United States believes that this discriminatory tax policy is inconsistent with the national treatment obligations that China assumed when it joined the WTO in December 2001.

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2004/03/04-22.pdf



WTO & AGRICULTURE

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NO SIGNS OF CONCESSIONS BY US, EC IN WTO FARM TALKS

TIMES NEWS NETWORK, by SHEILA MATHRANI, March 29, 2004

For the first time since the failed WTO ministerial meet in Cancun last September, WTO members and high level negotiators from the capitals have been meeting in Geneva since March 22, to find a solution to the agriculture negotiations the lynchpin for the success of the Doha round….The buzzword being asked for by the EU and the US , and also the G-20 and other members, is “flexibility”. However, according to reports, the various groups do not seem to be giving up their stands. The US and the EC are not showing any flexibility, though they are calling for it from others. The EC is showing signs of only reducing subsidies on some products of interest to developing countries, instead of phasing out export subsidies (Doha declaration). So far, there has been no progress in domestic supports and export subsidies, which is what the G-20 and the Cairns Group seem to have converged on they want the issue to be taken up in the agricultural negotiations.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/587645.cms

US CALLS AG NEGOTIATIONS “ENGOURAGING”

“Re-energized WTO Agriculture Negotiation ‘’Encouraging’’: US official reiterates need for deadline to eliminate export subsidies”, Cal Trade Report, March 29, 2004

A top US official says he is somewhat encouraged by resumption of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations in agriculture after a seven-month suspension. Allen Johnson, chief US agricultural trade negotiator, said developing country participants have moved beyond the rhetoric that characterized WTO negotiations before and during the failed September 2003 ministers’ meeting in Cancun, Mexico….Before the Cancun meeting, he said, participants were taking completely different approaches on agriculture. Now they are all working from the draft text submitted in Cancun as a point of departure, he said.

http://www.caltradereport.com/eWebPages/front-page-1080634014.html

CANADA LEADS DEAL TO GET FARM DEAL

“Concessions lead to breakthrough in stalled WTO bid to scrap global subsidies”

Financial Post, by Peter Morton, March 29, 2004

Canada, the U.S. and the European Union agreed at the weekend [sic] to make another try at ending the US$1-billion a day in global farm subsidies. The three will lead an effort by the World Trade Organization to try to hammer out and sign a framework deal on lowering farm barriers by this summer. The barriers are blamed by farmers around the world for distorting the industry….The farm trade deal is crucial to Canada, especially its wheat industry. Not only is the Canadian Wheat Board under attack from the U.S. because of concerns Ottawa is illegally subsidizing wheat exports, it is also facing criticism in Japan. A coalition of Japanese food industry groups and consumers recently threatened to end imports of Canadian wheat if Ottawa allows the cultivation of genetically modified strains.

http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/financialpost/

WTO AGRICULTURE WEEK: NO NEGOTIATING BREAKTHROUGH EXPECTED

Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, March 24, 2004

Despite a new negotiations format focusing on informal meetings, a 24 March stocktaking session on the agriculture negotiations failed to indicate any significant advances. Members meeting in Geneva for the first special (negotiating) session of the WTO Committee on Agriculture (CoA) this year adjourned their bilateral and plurilateral consultations for a brief plenary meeting to report back on progress made so far. The meeting was extremely brief, with only three Members making interventions. Reportedly, New Zealand’s Timothy Groser, who chairs the talks, felt that Members needed more time to consult and he said he “would not interpret silence as dissent”. Nevertheless, sources have not characterised the consultations so far as particularly constructive. Some delegates felt that the aim of generating a positive atmosphere to move the talks forward was jeopardised by certain Members playing a “blame game,” accusing others of blocking any compromise.

http://www.ictsd.org/weekly/04-03-24/story1.htm

EU TRADE CHIEF RAPS WTO CHIEF OVER FARM SUBSIDIES

Kyodo News International, Tokyo Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, March 27, 2004

European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy has accused Supachai Panitchpakdi, director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), of engaging in a “dangerous polemic” over farm subsidies, the Financial Times reported Saturday. In a letter to Supachai, Lamy lambasted him for using “misleading” and “contestable” figures and employing “ideology-based arguments,” the British business newspaper said in its Asian edition. The tone and content of the letter are significant because a WTO director general is largely dependent on the respect and trust the 148 members of the trade body give him, the report said. The dispute centers on recent comments Supachai made in Costa Rica, where he said industrialized countries spent about $300 billion a year on farm subsidies, a figure from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) disputed by the European Commission, according to the newspaper.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/national/8299733.htm

PACE ON AG TALKS INCREASES

“WTO speeds search for farm deal in trade talks”, Reuters, by Richard Waddington, March 26, 2004

World Trade Organisation (WTO) states agreed on Friday to work faster on a deal to reform farm trade, the key to a wider accord on lowering barriers to global commerce.

Winding up five days of talks in Geneva, the first since a WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico dramatically collapsed last year, diplomats from member countries said they hoped they could reach a framework accord on farm goods before the end of the summer. They added that there was a consensus on the new deadline to do what ministers had failed to do achieve the framework deal because after that the United States, the biggest player in world trade, would be distracted by its presidential election.



2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

BACK


WORLD’S LARGEST BIO TECH EVENT - SAN FRANSISCO IN JUNE

“BIO 2004: World’s Largest Biotech Event Goes Back to Where It All Began, San Francisco”, March 23, 2004

The biotechnology industry will go back to where it all began Ð San Francisco Ð this June to celebrate the benefits of biotech to health, agriculture, the economy and the environment. The BIO 2004 Annual International Convention, the world’s largest biotechnology event, takes place June 6-9 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. More than 16,000 biotech executives, investors, journalists, policymakers and scientists from more than 55 countries are expected to attend.

http://www.truthabouttrade.org/article.asp?id=1525

REMINDER: CANADIAN CONSULTATIONS ON ORGANIC

“Industry Consultations on a Proposed National Inspection Regime for Organic Agriculture”, AAF (consultation notice)

Purpose: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have been assisting the organic industry to assess the needs and the options for a national organic inspection regime. The option of a mandatory system as proposed and supported by industry would see a competent agency overseeing a regime which ensures a consistent compliance plan for the production, export, import, handling, and management practices for organic products.

Start Date: January 23, 2004, End Date: April 2, 2004

http://www.consultingcanadians.gc.ca/



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

BACK


MASS RALLY AGAINST THE IMF: APRIL

Mobilize for Global Justice
Stop World Bank and IMF Destruction

April 21- 25, 2004 in Washington, D.C.

Mass Rally Sat. April 24, Noon
Globalize Liberation, not Corporate Greed!

http://sept.globalizethis.org/

RACE FOR NEW IMF CHIEF INTENSIFIES

Reuters, by Lesley Wroughton, March 29, 2004

The race to lead the International Monetary Fund intensified on Monday as France and Germany reached a tentative deal to back Frenchman Jean Lemierre, a pact sources said has Washington’s blessing. Spain’s outgoing Economy Minister Rodrigo Rato had been the front-runner until now, but France has been lukewarm on the Spaniard. Rato, speaking in Lima on Monday, seemed equally willing to take the job or to back another European candidate. The top IMF post of managing director came open earlier this month when Horst Koehler stepped down to seek the German presidency.

http://www.reuters.com/

IMF ADMITS MISTAKE IN ARGENTINA

Zaman On-line (Turkey), March 29, 2004

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has admitted that it had made a mistake concerning the debt crisis Argentina experienced in 2001. The IMF directorship missed crisis signals and anticipated that growth and economic reforms would be greater.

A self-evaluative report issued by the IMF stated that there was no one single cause for the 2001 crisis. Contributing factors were: the state debts of Argentina, increasing budget expenses, the peso’s falling value against the dollar, and the private sector’s continuing to give debt despite economic stagnation in 1998. The IMF also accepted that they failed to see the problems that the country was likely to experience. The IMF failed to see the real position of Argentina’s economy.

http://www.zaman.org/?bl=international&alt=&trh=20040329&hn=6941

IMF LAMBASTED FOR FAILURES (NIGERIA)

“Vanguard Comment:- IMF And Nigeria’s Economy”, Vanguard (Lagos), March 29, 2004

At the launching of the country’s new mantra, the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), the World Bank and its affiliate Breton Woods Institution the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were in attendance to give endorsement….Surprisingly, the IMF at the launching of NEEDS announced to startled economic observers that the Nigerian economy grew at an estimated 10.75% per annum last year. The claim is astonishing for three reasons. First, there was no way the economy could grow at that rate without significant improvement in employment. And there wasn’t. Even the government of Nigeria does not claim that. Secondly, the President in his 2004 Budget speech estimated the GDP growth for 2003 at 4%; the Central Bank and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) as well as the Office of Statistics had lower estimates ranging from 3.2% to 3.8%; but none was anywhere near 10% as claimed by the IMF. Third, is the discernible pattern of the IMF to over-estimate positive economic indicators each and every time a country has swallowed its prescriptions only for those figures to be revised much later when the programmes fail.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200403290920.html

IMF HEAPS PRAISE ON CANADA

“International Monetary Fund Praises Canadian Economic and Fiscal Policies”, Finance Canada Press Release, March 10, 2004

Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale welcomed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) strong endorsement of Canada’s economic, fiscal and monetary policies, contained in its most recent report released today….The Staff Report for the 2004 Article IV Consultation with Canada concludes that Canada’s “considerable success” in fiscal management has enabled the Canadian economy “to respond flexibly to recent shocks and laid a solid foundation for recovery.” The IMF expects stronger growth in Canada in 2004, fuelled by household spending and a pickup in business investment.

http://www.fin.gc.ca/news04/04-019e.html



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

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US AND PANAMA BEGIN FTA NEGOTIATIONS ON APRIL 26

USTR Press Release, March 26, 2004

The United States and Panama announced today they would begin free trade negotiations in Panama City, Panama during the week of April 26. U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick met with President Moscoso and Trade Minister Jácome in Miami last November during the Free Trade Area of the Americas Ministerial meeting and announced the plan to undertake these negotiations.

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2004/03/04-26.pdf

US AND COLOMBIA BEGIN FTA NEGOTIATIONS ON APRIL 26

“Larger U.S.-Andean Free Trade Area Envisioned As Other Andean Countries May Participate”, USTR Press Release, March 23, 2004

Following meetings between President Bush and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, the United States and Colombia announced today that free trade negotiations between the

two countries, and possibly other Andean countries, will begin May 18-19. U.S. Trade

Representative Robert B. Zoellick joined in the meeting, and afterward met with President Uribe and Jorge Humberto Botero, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, to discuss U.S.- Colombian trade issues, the launching of the FTA negotiations, the ongoing Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha negotiations.

http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2004/03/04-25.pdf

FTAA NEGOTIATIONS POSTPONED FOR A MONTH

Falklands/Mercosur, March 11, 2004

Countries participating in the conformation of the United States sponsored Free Trade Association of the Americas, FTAA, decided to postpone for a month the coming March 17 meeting of Deputy Chancellors to be held in Puebla, Mexico, because no minimum agreements were reached….Argentine International Economic Relations Minister Martín Redrado made the announcement after two days of frustrating negotiations in Buenos Aires with representatives of 12 of the 34 FTAA countries. The Buenos Aires discussions were supposed to pave the way for the Deputy Chancellors meeting….However it was agreed that an intermediate reunion will be held in Buenos Aires on March 31 and April 1, and the meeting in Puebla is now scheduled for April 22,23.

http://www.falkland-malvinas.com/Detalle.asp?NUM=3379

LAW SUIT FILED OVER “MIAMI MODEL” SECURITY EFFORT

“FTAA Federal Lawsuit Challenges “Miami Model””, Miami Activist Defense, March 25, 2004

A civil lawsuit was filed today in federal court challenging the “Miami model,” a deliberate and coordinated effort by local, state and federal “authorities” to silence dissent through an unwarranted use of force and by unlawfully arresting hundreds of people engaging in protests against a controversial trade agreement, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Attorneys working with Miami Activist Defense (MAD) and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) filed the lawsuit to stop the “model” in its tracks so that it can no longer be used to restrict mass protests around the country.

http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0325-08.htm

LITMUS TEST FOR CAFTA IN COSTA RICA

“Harken v. Costa Rica”, by Mark Engler and Nadia Martinez, Grist Magazine, March 26, 2004

…Harken Energy, a Texas-based oil company with close ties to U.S. President George W. Bush, had previously obtained rights to search for crude in Costa Rica. Before failing an environmental impact review in February 2002, it had planned to drill offshore. Now Harken is demanding that the Costa Rican government pay upwards of $12 million in reparations for its aborted exploits. On March 11, Costa Rica announced that it would not accept a proposed out-of-court resolution to the dispute, delivering another blow to the bitter oil interest. But that’s not the last word on the subject. Even as the company contemplates sending the case back into international courts, the Bush administration is brokering a treaty that threatens to make the Harken suit into something more than an obscure legal grudge match. That treaty is the Central American Free Trade Agreement. With the U.S. and five Central American countries working to ratify CAFTA, it’s not just local environmentalists and Texas oil barons closely watching ongoing developments in the Harken dispute. International observers say the case is shaping up as the latest cautionary tale of how “free trade” agreements give corporations the power to trump local environmental laws.

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18258

FREE TRADE ONE OF FIVE ECONOMIC PILLARS FOR CDA

“Adjusting to Global Economic Change”, Remarks by David Dodge, Governor of the Bank of Canada, to an event hosted by the Center for Financial Stability and the Canadian Embassy (Buenos Aires, Argentina), March 16, 2004

…We have seen, first-hand, how our economy has benefited from opening our borders to trade. That is why we are committed to trying to extend the benefits of free trade to the whole of the Americas through the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)…. So those are the five areas that should be priorities for Canada in the years ahead: fiscal prudence, the right microeconomic policies, appropriate social policies, a strong and stable financial system, and more open trade.

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/speeches/2004/sp04-4.htm



5. Environment

BACK


UK STUDY EVIDENCE OF EXTINCTION CRISIS

“British butterfly study finds signs of ‘extinction event’”, Associated Press, by Paul Recer, March 19, 2004

A steep decline in birds, butterflies and native plants in Britain supports the theory that humans are pushing the natural world into the Earth’s sixth big extinction event and the future may see more and more animal species disappearing….A survey of 58 butterfly species found that some populations had fallen 71 percent since similar surveys taken from 1970 through 1982. About 201 bird species were tracked between 1968 and 1971, and then again from 1988 to 1991, with a population decline of about 54 percent. Two surveys of 1,254 native plant species showed a decrease of about 28 percent over 40 years.

http://www.truthabouttrade.org/article.asp?id=1507

DEAD ZONES EMERGING AS BIG THREAT TO TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FISH STOCKS

Eighth Special Session of Governing Council of United Nations, Environment Programme and Global Ministerial Environment Forum, 29-31 March 2004

March 29, 2004

There are nearly 150 oxygen-starved or “dead zones” in the world’s oceans and seas, a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows. These “dead zones” are linked to an excess of nutrients, mainly nitrogen, that originate from agricultural fertilizers, vehicle fumes, factory emissions and wastes. Low levels of oxygen in the water make it difficult for fish, oysters and other marine creatures to survive, as well as important habitats such as sea grass beds. Experts claim that the number and size of deoxygenated areas is on the rise, with the total number detected rising every decade since the 1970s. They are warning that these areas are fast becoming major threats to fish stocks and thus to the people who depend upon fisheries for food and livelihoods.

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/envdev758.doc.htm

US, OTHERS DELAY ELIMINATION OF DAMAGING PESTICIDE

Reuters, March 29, 2004

The United States and other major powers last week agreed to delay the implementation of a deal to stop using a pesticide which is known to destroy the ozone layer, officials said. Methyl bromide, a fumigant that kills soil and food pests, is due to be phased out by developed nations by January 1, 2005, under the 1987 Montreal Protocol to protect the atmosphere. But delegates at a U.N.-sponsored conference in Montreal agreed that the United States and 10 other developed nations - which say they have yet to find a viable alternative - would be given exemptions allowing them to use the fumigant at least until the end of 2005.

http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/

UN URGES RUSSIA TO SAVE CLIMATE PLAN

Reuters, March 22, 2004

The United Nations renewed calls last week for Russia to salvage a landmark plan to curb global warming, 10 years after governments agreed to fight a rise in temperatures threatening life on the planet. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said some progress had been made since the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force on March 21, 1994 as the first global blueprint for tackling climate change caused by humans….Russia has had a casting vote over Kyoto since President Bush pulled out of the protocol in 2001, arguing that it was too costly and wrongly excluded developing nations. Kyoto will collapse without Russian backing because it must be ratified by countries accounting for 55 percent of carbon dioxide emissions by industrialized countries.

http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/

EU TRADE CHIEF ON ‘FAIR TRADE’

“What role for fair trade in EU Policies?”, Statement by Pascal Lamy at Panel, Conference on Fair trade, a contribution to sustainable development. European Parliament, Brussels 23 March 2004

…Two questions hang in the air: “Is fair trade a contribution to Sustainable Development?” and “What role for fair trade in EU policies?” Slightly leading in nature: let me first join the dots in the way the organisers surely intended. Of course fair trade makes an important contribution to sustainable development. Of course, given the central role that the principle of sustainable development plays in EU policies, fair trade has an important position….As part of our concrete follow up on these high-level commitments, DG Trade is working, (some of you may have heard of our Sustainable Trade Action Plan), to help promote sustainable and fair trade by focussing “on the legal and business environment in which the value chain operates…to increase consumer knowledge of and confidence in products labelled as being “sustainable trade”, “fair trade” or “ethical trade””.

http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/lamy/speeches_articles/spla216_en.htm

GLOBAL WARMING SPIRALS UPWARDS

the lndependent/UK, by Geoffrey Lean, March 28, 2004

Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have jumped abruptly, raising fears that global warming may be accelerating out of control. Measurements by US government scientists show that concentrations of the gas, the main cause of the climate exchange, rose by a record amount over the past 12 months. It is the third successive year in which they have increased sharply, marking an unprecedented triennial surge.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0328-08.htm

FED-PROV CLIMATE CHANGE AGREEMENT SIGNED

“Federal and Provincial Governments Sign Climate Change Co-Operation Agreement”, March 19, 2004

The Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba are continuing to demonstrate their commitment to work together to address the challenges of climate change. On behalf of the Government of Canada, The Honourable David Anderson, Canada’s Minister of the Environment, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Co-operation on Addressing Climate Change with the Honourable Tim Sale, Manitoba’s Minister of Energy, Science and Technology signing on behalf of the Government of Manitoba. This is the third Federal/Provincial/Territorial MOU to be signed following Canada’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol last December.

http://www.climatechange.gc.ca/english/newsroom/2004/20040319_manitoba.asp

ENVIRONMENT CANADA’S CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL INNIVATION WEBSITE

March 29, 2004

Environment Canada’s Corporate Environmental Innovation (CEI) initiative aims to accelerate innovation and improve environmental performance in the corporate sector by encouraging and supporting corporate sustainability leadership. Through collaboration with the private sector, academics, non-governmental organizations, and other government departments, CEI’s goal is to encourage corporate sustainability leaders to keep leading and to help other companies see the benefit of following their example.

On this website, you will find information about the growing links between sustainable development and business value (or the “business-value case” for corporate sustainability leadership), details on CEI project areas, as well as links to other Canadian and international corporate sustainability resources.

http://www.ec.gc.ca/cei-iee/default.asp?lang=En&n=DC145895-11

THE ENVIRONMENT WEDGE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

“It’s the Environment, Stupid”, Christian Science Monitor, Brad Knickerbocker, March 25, 2004

As George Bush and John Kerry circle each other warily in the early days of the presidential campaign, focusing mainly on war and economic recovery, there’s another issue that could make the key difference in a close race. It’s the environment. There are dramatic differences in tone and approach between the presumptive candidates here. As a result, the issue is more politically significant than it has been since former Interior Secretary James Watt’s pyrotechnic presence early in the Reagan administration 20 years ago….In a confidential memo to elected Republican leaders last year, GOP pollster Frank Luntz warned that environmental issues are the Republicans’ weak spot. As a result, wrote Mr. Luntz, “Not only do we risk losing the swing vote, but our suburban female base could abandon us as well.” That Mr. Bush and Vice president Dick Cheney are both former oilmen does not help the administration’s image here.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0325-06.htm

15 YEARS AFTER EXXON VALDEZ: A LEGACY OF POLLUTION AND BETRAYAL

“Betrayed by an Oil Giant: 15 Years After the Exxon Valdez Disaster, the Coast Remains Polluted and Compensation is Unpaid”, lndependent/UK, Andrew Gumbel, March 25, 2004

Shortly after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, a senior Exxon representative visited the devastated fishing communities of southern Alaska and promised them the company would do everything in its power to restore their livelihoods and “make them whole”….But 15 years to the day since a drunken sea captain drove his oil tanker on to a reef in Prince William Sound, covering one of the world’s most pristine stretches of coastline with at least 11 million gallons of crude, the feeling among fishermen, environmentalist activists and the lawyers representing them is that Exxon has not only broken its original promise but has gone out of its way to betray them in pursuit of broader corporate interests….”Exxon has dodged its responsibility every step of the way,” Mr Lankard said. “The company had every opportunity to go beyond the call of duty. Instead, they’ve understood that their hand gets stronger the longer they wait. And in the meantime, people are dying.”

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0323-12.htm



6. Other

BACK


SPRINGTIME IN WASHINGTON - THE LOBBYISTS ARE OUT

“It’s a Lobbyists’ Paradise in Washington”, Associated Press, by Sharon Theimer, March 25, 2004

…”We raise money for members of Congress because they become familiar with us as individuals and when you ask for time from them they’re more inclined to give it to you,” said Louis Dupart, who estimates his lobbying firm will throw at least three-dozen fund-raisers this year. Dupart lobbies for a range of clients, including Pennsylvania’s Bucknell University on government spending, American Airlines on airport security issues, Constellation Energy on energy legislation and Verizon Communications on telecommunications policy.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0325-10.htm

PETERSON SPEAKS AT TRADE POLICY DAY

DFAIT Press Release, March 29, 2004

International Trade Minister Jim Peterson, speaking before chief executives at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Trade Policy Day, today highlighted Canada’s resilience during a challenging year for trade and investment and released Trade Update 2004: Fifth Annual Report on Canada’s State of Trade. The report traces Canada’s trade and investment performance over the previous year.

“The fact that Canada remained so resilient in the wake of some extraordinary challenges in 2003a year that included SARS, BSE, the blackout, forest fires in British Columbia, Hurricane Juan and a rapid rise in the value of the Canadian dollar in relation to the U.S. dollarmeans we have the confidence to take on what lies ahead,” said Minister Peterson. “We will continue to pursue active trade and investment policy, and defend Canada’s interests abroad.”

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

CANADA-EU INVESTMENT DEAL

“Canada-European Union - Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement”, DFAIT Press Release, March 16, 2004

At the Canada-European Union Summit in Ottawa on March 18, 2004, Prime Minister Martin and European Union (EU) leaders agreed to a framework for a new Canada-EU Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement (TIEA) and reiterated their commitment to reaching a successful conclusion to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Development Agenda. In parallel with the WTO negotiations, the bilateral TIEA provides Canada and the EU with the opportunity to address barriers to trade and investment on a “two-track” approach….

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

POOR NATIONS MAY SOON GET AIDS MEDICINE

Associated Press, by BARBARA BORST, March 29, 2004

Efforts to get AIDS medications to millions of HIV-infected people in poor countries may be on the verge of a breakthrough, some experts say. Disagreements abound over drug safety, trade rules, funding and the sincerity of U.S. government efforts, but there are signs of progress. Stephen Lewis, the United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, told The Associated Press that major changes in the past six months - especially new trade agreements and a World Health Organization initiative - have produced “the largest quotient of hope we’ve had in a long, long time.” Dr. German Velasquez, coordinator of WHO’s drug action program, said he was not optimistic about the trade agreement but sees steps forward in China, Latin America and South Africa, the country with the most HIV-infected people. Some 40 million people worldwide are infected with HIV/AIDS - two thirds of them in sub-Saharan Africa; 30 million have died of AIDS-related causes, according to U.N. reports.

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/8302532.htm



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.



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