More Than a Decade is Too Long to Wait for Action on Pesticides Suspected in Bee Deaths

Stop stalling, environmental groups tell Minister

MEDIA RELEASE
March 26, 2014

Ottawa – Four major environmental organizations have written to Health Minister Rona Ambrose asking her to stop stalling on taking action on pesticides suspected of killing bees, and that lack critical toxicity data.

What does the biggest free trade deal in history mean for the environment?

By  Karl Mathiesen.  theguardian.com, Friday 14 March 2014 12.32 GMT    
 What free trade advocates say: The US says the deal would “significantly reduce the cost of differences in regulations and standards by promoting greater compatibility, transparency, and cooperation, while maintaining our high levels of health, safety, and environmental protection”.

In the UK, all three major parties are backing the proposal. John Healey, Labour MP on cross-party committee for trade told parliament last month:    “The size of our combined economies and the scale of the potential deal mean that [TTIP] could set standards for future agreements with other countries on consumer safeguards, workers’ rights, environmental protection, trade rules and legal process.”

Coalition government minister Ken Clarke said today:

NAFTA reopening possible after South Korea deal, Harper hints

The Canadian Press Posted: Mar 13, 2014 10:11 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 13, 2014 10:21 AM ET

Prime Minister tells B.C. audience he's open to discussing the 20-year-old pact

With the ink still wet on a free-trade deal with South Korea, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada would be willing to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement for the right price.

Harper stopped in Vancouver on his way home from South Korea on Wednesday, wasting no time in selling the new agreement.

Brics are rethinking costs of bilateral investment treaties

March 12, 2014. ft.com Letters to Editor  From Mr Kavaljit Singh.

Sir, Robert Zoellick’s assertion that China can advance internal reforms through proposed bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with the US and the EU is unconvincing (“International treaties can once again help China advance”, Comment, March 11). BITs are not meant to tackle corruption and fight favouritism in China, as perceived by Mr Zoellick. Such policy objectives can be best advanced through domestic political reforms.

Corrupt “Secret” Global Trade and Investor Agreements: EU Facilitating Corporate Plunder (re ‘Profiting from Crisis' Report)

By Colin Todhunter, Global Research, March 11, 2014.
Since the economic crisis hit Europe, international investors have begun suing EU countries struggling under austerity and recession for a loss of expected profits, using international trade and investment agreements.

Pakistan may revisit all preferential, free trade agreements

Pakistan government is revisiting all the Free Trade Agreements and Preferential Trade Agreements.

There is a growing realisation among policymakers that they had been poorly negotiated and were now causing harm to the domestic industry.

Ministry of Commerce and Textile Industry officials in Islamabad told Dawn newspaper on Tuesday that the government might even go for total scrapping of all these trade agreements.

They said, however, proper working would be made in case the government opted for renegotiation.

Pakistan so far has signed four FTAs under South Asia Free Trade Agreement with China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India. Besides, there are three PTAs with Iran, Mauritius and Indonesia.

Officials said these agreements were making some of country’s imports costlier due to monopolistic tendencies created by them against cheaper sources of supplies from other countries of the world market.

NAFTA Report Warns Of Trade Deal Environmental Disasters

By Michael McAuliff, March 11th, 2014. Huffington Post. 

WASHINGTON -- A report due to be released Tuesday aims to offer an object lesson to President Barack Obama: Free trade deals have high costs in unintended consequences for the environment, people's way of life, and local sovereignty.

The report by the Sierra Club and other groups in Canada and Mexico, released on the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, summarizes more than 100 nonprofit, government and scholarly studies of NAFTA, and draws a damning picture.

Perhaps hardest hit is Mexico, according to the report, where expanded trade in agricultural products came at the expense of smaller farmers, who couldn't compete with a surge in pesticide-heavy factory farms. Small farmers resorted to cutting down forests to farm more land, and still failed. A boom in mining came at the expense of local landowners, with subsequent industrial pollution.

New Report Reveals Environmental Costs of North American Free Trade Agreement Environmental Damages Underscore Risks of Unfair Trade

WASHINGTON - March 11 - A massive free trade deal went into effect 20 years ago and has had very harmful effects on communities and the environment in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, according to a report released today.

January 1, 1994 marked the first day of the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and nearly 20 years later, communities are still suffering from its consequences.

Among other conclusions, this report finds that NAFTA: