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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.
Upcoming days of action
8 Oct: mobilisation in Athens against CETA - contact
8 Oct: mobilisation in Luxembourg against CETA - contact
8-15 oct: October of resistance against TTIP and CETA in Spain - contact
15 Oct: mobilisation in Paris against CETA - contact
10-15 Oct: regional week of action against RCEP in Asia-Pacific - contact
22 Oct: mobilisation in Amsterdam against CETA - contact
27-28 Oct: mobilisation in Brussels against CETA - contact
03-05 Nov: mobilisation in Brussels against TTIP - contact
4 Nov: Continental day for democracy and against FTAs & neoliberalism in Latin America - contact
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News from the movements
30-Sep-2016 OMAL"Frente a la velocidad y las largas distancias que plantean el TTIP y el CETA, frente a los productos kilométricos del capitalismo global, frente al poder de las finanzas y la concentración del capital, frente al consumismo depredador, necesitamos profundizar las experiencias de soberanía alimentaria, de gestión colectiva de los cuidados, de democratización de la producción, de gestión pública de los bienes comunes."
28-Sep-2016 Global Labour ColumnFor decades, labour has been fighting purely defensive battles against the neo-liberal trade and investment agenda; we lack an agenda of our own. Lost ground will not be reclaimed on what is fundamentally hostile territory, argues Peter Rossmann of the IUF.
26-Sep-2016 No al TTIP
Aprobada en Les Corts Valencianes una iniciativa para instar al Gobierno central a no autorizar la firma del Acuerdo Económico y Comercial Global (CETA)Un total de 32 ayuntamientos valencianos, que aglutinan a más de un millón de personas, han rechazado este acuerdo.
23-Sep-2016 La DiariaSuplemento especial elaborado por La Diaria, Uruguay, dedicado a los Tratados de Libre Comercio.
23-Sep-2016 TeleSurDozens of Indigenous people in Peru have been absolved of accusations that they were responsible for a massacre seven years ago that killed at least 32 people, due to intense conflict triggered by the country’s free trade agreements.
22-Sep-2016 CADTMIl est urgent de lever le silence qui entoure cette question dans notre pays et de présenter des éléments de réflexion critique et de débat sur ce sujet
21-Sep-2016 El EconomistaMiles de personas se manifestaron hoy (20-9) en el barrio europeo de Bruselas contra el TTIP y el pacto comercial ya cerrado con Canadá (conocido por CETA), aún pendiente de ratificación.
21-Sep-2016 EurActivThousands of protesters marched through Brussels to demand the European Union abandon planned transatlantic free trade deals.
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