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Pro-free trade groups put together broad coalition
Wall Street Journal | March 20, 2009
Pro-Free Trade Groups Put Together Broad Coalition
- A group founded by Bono is one of the pro-trade letter’s signatories. (Associated Press)
After years of watching the anti-free trade groups put together remarkably broad coalitions, the pro-free trade side is striking back.
In a March 20 letter to President Barack Obama and congressional leaders, a pro-free trade coalition urged the completion of the Doha free trade pact and a “reaffirmation” at the leaders summit of the Group of 20 nations of the “critical importance of rejecting destructive protectionism.”
“U.S. trade and development policies that promote global economic growth, encourage poverty alleviation, increase political stability and promote openness are not only in our economic self-interest, they are in our national interest,” the letter said.
The message wasn’t especially new for free-trade supporters, but the signers were. Along with the usual suspects - groups of exporters like the Business Roundtable and Emergency Committee for American Trade - was a selection of development groups and religious organizations. They include the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Bread for the World and One, the Africa development group founded by singer Bono. There were 17 signers in all.
The Center for Global Development, a development think tank that has long advocated expanded trade, was pushing the effort. “It’s to show there is some common ground, that there is more disparate group [of supporters],” said Kimberly Elliott, a trade specialist there. “We have a clearly bipartisan, broad left-right coalition.”
Public Citizen, the consumer group founded by Ralph Nader, has been at this kind of work for more than 15 years, but on the other side — organizing broad coalitions of unions, environmental groups, religious organization and others who oppose trade expansion. On March 18, Public Citizen and it allies put together their most recent letter, signed by around 350 groups, to new U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, which opposed the Doha round and other trade deals.
Lori Wallach, Public Citizen’s long-time anti-free trade organizer, was dismissive of corporate/religious group/development group effort. “This is nothing new,” she said in an e-mail. She said the development groups involved have long been in synch with exporters.
News from the movements
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.
23-Aug-2016 ScoopCivil society groups, trade unions, church groups, environmentalists, gender activists and many more are calling for Ministers to make no decision on PACER-Plus — a free trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands — until there has been a proper social impact assessment and mandate from the Pacific people who are most likely to be affected.
22-Aug-2016 Radio New ZealandA meeting on Pacific labour mobility under the PACER Plus trade deal has a glaring omission – the voices of organised labour.
Avec de nouveaux accords commerciaux, le vol organisé par les multinationales est légalisé et les semences paysannes deviennent illégalesDe nouveaux accords de libre-échange légalisent le vol organisé par les grandes entreprises et mettent en péril la possibilité pour les agriculteurs de conserver, produire et échanger des semences.
22-Aug-2016 El PaísEl secretario de Relaciones Internacionales del Pit-Cnt, Fernando Gambera, afirmó tras participar del XVI Foro Social Mundial realizado en Montreal (Canadá) que los Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) son una preocupación para todas las centrales sindicales porque "apuntan a degradar las conquistas de los trabajadores".
22-Aug-2016 Premium TimesSocial Action has asked the federal government to not to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union. Ghana and Ivory Coast have also resisted the EPA
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