- Key issues
Behind every free trade and investment agreement lies a set of corporate interests. Just as they have greatly influenced the shape, scope and contents of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, so too are transnational corporations (TNCs), sectoral industry coalitions and lobby groups mobilizing around specific bilateral trade and investment negotiations, to push even further than they were able to get at the WTO.
“Bilateral and regional FTAs …are formalized manifestations of where our respective private sectors have taken us…it is really business and government moving in tandem,” explained Susan Schwab, former US Trade Representative in 2006.
TNCs, whether acting individually or as part of industry coalitions such as the US Council on International Business (USCIB), the Emergency Committee for International Trade, the Coalition of Service Industries (US), BusinessEurope, the European Services Forum (EU) or Nippon Keidanren (Japan), are organized, aggressive and influential in their demands for specific FTAs. The comprehensiveness of most free trade and investment agreements means that there are many cross-cutting issues as well as separate chapters and provisions in these agreements which serve to shape policy regimes in the interests of TNCs.
last update: May 2012
photo: Mehr Demokratie e.V.
The Maryland General Assembly’s override today rescinding Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s 2003 commitment to allow Maryland’s state procurement rules to be bound by pending trade agreements negotiated by the Bush administration and in previous trade agreements such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a victory for Maryland taxpayers and the latest evidence of state officials’ growing demands for accountability in international trade negotiations, Public Citizen said today.
The Australia-US Free Trade Agreement will bring major changes to Australian government procurement.
After extensive discussion within the
NAM’s International Economic Policy Committee, a consensus was reached to
recommend Egypt, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, and South Korea for US FTAs; and to place the five others - Brazil, China, The European Union, Japan, and Taiwan on a Watchlist,
possibly to be recommended in the future as circumstances change.
In a white paper released today, Business Roundtable called on Congress and the Bush Administration to continue the nation’s history of economic growth through liberalized trade and investment policies by pursuing a vigorous international trade agenda for 2005.
An Australian Productivity Commission report into trade and assistance reviews found conditions attached to the free trade agreements signed with the United States and Thailand would be more restrictive than similar deals.
Australian businesses are preparing for an assault on the $200 billion US Government procurement market when the US-Australia FTA takes effect in just over a fortnight.
T Shinawatra Thai Silk (Thailand) Co Ltd, a family business of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, is negotiating with an Australian fashion designer to form a joint venture that benefits from low import tariffs under the Thai-Australia free-trade agreement.
United States (U.S.) is aggressively working to open markets globally, regionally and bilaterally to expand American opportunities and to guard its investments in overseas market. With multilateral negotiations proceeding at a slow pace especially following the collapse of talks in Cancun, U.S. is on a spree signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with the Americas, Asian, African and Middle Eastern nations.
Goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will no longer be allowed to enter the European Union tariff-free under an agreement initialed on Thursday.
Agreement has been reached in a wrangle between the European Commission and Israel over goods made in Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza.