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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
Oct to Nov: autumn of action against CETA in Europe incl. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Netherland, Slovenia, Spain... - details
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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18-Oct-2016 Peoples WorldIn protests billed as “anti-colonial” demonstrations, Peruvians hit the streets on 12 October against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement
17-Oct-2016 No al TTIPEn el marco de una semana repleta de protestas para detener la aprobación del tratado de libre comercio entre la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos (TTIP) y la ratificación del CETA (el acuerdo de la Unión Europea con Canadá), la plataforma estatal ‘No al TTIP’ ha movilizado este sábado a miles de personas a lo largo de la geografía española y muy especialmente en la capital de España.
17-Oct-2016 Stop TTIPOver 100 law professors from across Europe have come together to send a clear message to EU decision makers demanding the investor protection mechanisms be excluded from TTIP and CETA.
17-Oct-2016 The Jakarta PostAn activist group is calling on the government to not ratify the ASEAN Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) clause on International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) 1991, saying that it will increase global corporations’ monopolistic control over small farmers.
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