- About bilaterals.org
- Feb-2016: New ISDS platform launched
- Sep-2004: Launch announcement
- Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Mar-2013: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Jun-2009: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Dec-2008: An update from bilaterals.org and logo design contest announcement
- Dec-2006: bilaterals.org in Spanish & French
- Sep-2006: Update from bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
FTAs: Trading away traditional knowledge
New from GRAIN
09 March 2006
FTAs: Trading away traditional knowledge
by GRAIN in collaboration with Dr Silvia Rodríguez Cervantes
In the last couple of years, bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) have become immensely popular with governments disillusioned by the slow pace of trade liberalisation talks at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). At present there are over 200 FTA negotiating processes under way across the globe. While ostensibly aimed at breaking down trade barriers, these agreements are increasingly targeting indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ traditional knowledge in very real ways.
Traditional knowledge has come up in a dozen or so FTA drafting processes over the last couple of years. In half of those cases, specific provisions on traditional knowledge were signed. The pattern at play is simple. When facing the US, trade negotiators concerned about "biopiracy" try to put limits on when and how researchers and corporations can get patents on biodiversity or traditional knowledge in the United States. When the US is not involved in the trade deal, they carve out space to define their own legal systems of "rights" to traditional knowledge. In all cases, however, these FTAs are framing traditional knowledge as intellectual property - a commodity to be bought and sold.
With no consensus on how to "protect" traditional knowledge at the international level, much less in each of these FTA-negotiating countries, governments are fast committing themselves to a one-track approach through these trade pacts: traditional knowledge as a commodity to be bought and sold under the conventional rules of exclusive private property.
This 16-page briefing is available from GRAIN at http://www.grain.org/briefings/?id=196.
A Spanish translation will be available shortly.
News from the movements
31-Aug-2016 ArcInfoUne plainte record de plus de 125 000 personnes a été déposée en Allemagne contre l’accord de libre-échange Ceta entre l’Union européenne et le Canada.
31-Aug-2016 Solidaritas PerempuanTidak seperti TPP yang wacananya sangat mengemuka di ruang publik, RCEP nampaknya tidak menjadi perhatian meskipun juga akan berdampak bagi kehidupan masyarakat, termasuk kehidupan perempuan. Meskipun sering disebut sebagai perjanjian perdagangan, namun ruang lingkup RCEP lebih luas dari sekedar perdagangan.
31-Aug-2016 No al TTIPLa sociedad civil se mueve contra la ratificación exprés del CETA en el Parlamento Europeo.
An open letter to the sixteen governments negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic PartnershipNearly 70 networks and organisations call on the RCEP negotiators to listen to civil society, not just corporate interests
30-Aug-2016 The NationActivists of various NGOs have urged Asean governments to eliminate investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) draft.
25-Aug-2016 RTSome 2,000 members of the American Postal Workers Union have gathered in Miami where they are officially opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
24-Aug-2016 Deutsche WelleHundreds of thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets in several German cities to rally against plans to move forward with two key international trade agreements - one year after a similar protest managed to attract similar numbers.
23-Aug-2016 APRNNeither the TPP nor the RCEP, neither the US nor China and their corporations will ever address the long-standing people’s aspiration for an international trading system that responds to their needs.
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.