All comments


    The letter and the resolution show that MEPs are calling on the EU to ensure that Israel implements Article 2 (on human rights) of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which is a bilateral trade agreement. This is something that groups in the region have been calling for over past months, as documented in other postings to this site.


    Dear Sir or Madame:

    I was writing to comment on the following article published on your website: "Members of European Parliament challenge EU-Israel relationship | 29-November-2006". I am not certain of whether or not you have had the opportunity to review this article, but I believe that this article should have not been published on your website.

    I regard your website as the website which provides the most inclusive and up to date information on bilateral free trade agreements and this article contains none of the above. It does not talk about the free trade agreement that the EU has with Israel, rather it only talks about one MEP’s opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I don’t believe that this genre of article belongs in this news-digest, and I hope that in the future you will better screen your articles before they get published.


    Shirly Kalush
    MSc. Politics of the World Economy
    London School of Economics


    Japan FTA with Malaysia and Singapore has already been implemented and not as reported in your article.


    yo pienso q tlc se deberia firmar por muchas causas,¿ que va a pasar señor correa con las preferencias arancelarias,? peru y colombia se nos estan adelantando su economia a lo largo va a estar muy buena lo que no se podria decir de ecuador, tienen mas ventajas q nosotros cuales son argumentos para no firmar el tlc, si bien es cierto que muchos campesinos, agricultores, etc no se benefician ud deberia de llegar a un acuerdo con EEUU para poder negociar un tratado de libre comercio justo que benefecie al pais, pero obviamente despues de haber hablado llegar a un determinado acuerdo y no decir NO SE VA A FIRMAR CON EEUU EL TRATADO DE LIBRE COMERCIO....PORQUE NOS ESTA PERJUDICANDO..

    Amin George Forji:


    Amin George Forji , (LL.M), is a Law postgraduate Reseach fellow at Helsinki/Kent university. He hails from Cameroon.
    Contact email:


    Romy Lee Ancheta, President, SALIKA :

    Our people, by allowing our government, is repeating history that puts our country to a deeper disadvantaged position over the foreign economies. We had Parity Rights. The Spanish colonial control of our economies for 3 centuries. How can we, as people, resolve, enough is enough.


    The idea of China being a "Big Brother" to Africa is indeed a move that the rest of the world should notice and pay attention to very carefully. A continent that is so abundantly rich in natural resources such as Africa , and is so underdeveloped can provide an economic catalyst for a country such as China that has aspirations and potential of becoming the world’s next great "Super Power". But, interestingly enough was the fact no mention was made concerning the AIDS epidemic that plagues both of the countries so deeply. For this commitment to work for China, they must invest considerably in the health and welfare of the people of this continent to ensure a much more productive and viable work force.


    I think North korea should have a free trade agreement with the United States it would help both countries economy grow and make peace with both countries and should listen to South korea about its nuclear program.


    to the author, can i have a copy of the matrix of these FTAs ( Bilaterals, Multilaterals, Regional) for easy reference?


    This is the text of Article 17.2: Enforcement of Labor Laws
    1. (a) A Party shall not fail to effectively enforce its labor laws, through a sustained or recurring course of action or inaction, in a manner affecting trade between the Parties, after the date of entry into force of this Agreement.
    (b) Each Party retains the right to exercise discretion with respect to investigatory, prosecutorial, regulatory, and compliance matters and to make decisions regarding the allocation of resources to enforcement with respect to other labor matters determined to have higher priorities. Accordingly, the Parties understand that a Party is in compliance with subparagraph (a) where a course of action or inaction reflects a reasonable exercise of such discretion, or results from a bona fide decision regarding the allocation of resources.
    2. The Parties recognize that it is inappropriate to encourage trade or investment by weakening or reducing the protections afforded in their respective labor laws. Accordingly, each Party shall strive to ensure that it does not waive or otherwise derogate from, or offer to waive or otherwise derogate from, such laws in a manner that weakens or reduces adherence to the internationally recognized labor rights referred to in Article 17.7 as an encouragement for trade with another Party, or as an encouragement for the establishment, acquisition, expansion, or retention of an investment in its territory.
    3. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to empower a Party’s authorities to undertake labor law enforcement activities in the territory of another Party.

    I’d love to be able to reference this to other academics, but I’ve no idea how the claim that "they keep quiet about how environmental and labour conditions will deteriorate in order to attract those investments, changes that the Free Trade Treaty expressly authorizes (Articles 17.2 and 18.2)" can be made in good faith. The nature of the treaty means that no one would have standing to launch an action except the US federal government, and the feds like Uribe, so it is unlikely that 17.2 will protect anyone, but I can’t see how "A Party shall not fail to effectively enforce its labor laws, through a sustained or recurring course of action or inaction, in a manner affecting trade between the Parties," could be held to expressly permit parties to do just that. Can someone enlighten me?


    Anon - Very colourful language but hardly to the point. The idea of a free trade agreement is a level playing field, a two way street and not to whether it has multinationals or not. How would america feel if the FTA with Australia prevented the US agriculture subsidies to US farmers, opened up US markets to Australian wheat, cotton, sugar and cars but prevented US cars, computers and medicines coming into Australia. So all bovine manure to you while I have a meat pie and drive home in my Aussie Ute. Diana, Sydney


    Me parece que se van a extremos, lo que hicieron en los muelles esta bien, ya es hora de que ese montón de vagos empiecen a trabajar y aganarse el salario que les pagan, no tienen derecho a obstaculizar el paso de los camiones cargados de productos y que por culapa de ellos se pierdan, en este pais hace falta que ya les pongan un ALTO a estas personas que solo quieren estar cruzados de manos y que por eso les paguen, todos estos trabajadores tienen gran cantidad de beneficios y lo que les preocupa es que los pongan a hacer el trabajo que deben.

    No soy seguidora de Oscar Arias ni de ningún politico todos son un poco de basura, TODOS en una bolsita y lástima la bolsa, pero si algo tengo claro es que nos guste o no el gano las elecciones y eso lo convierte en nuestro presidente, dejense de tantas majaderías y empiecen a luchar por las cosas que relamente valen la pena, por que no hacen una marcha contra la cantidad de accidentes que se dan en nuestras calles o contra el aumento de la delincuencia o cosas que realmente importan, por que no hablaron cuando estos trabajadores tomaron uno de los furgones y lo quemaron, esto es una estupidez pero a nadie le importo.

    Por favor trabajemos por un mejor país sin importar quien este en el gobierno, empecemos a trabajar realmente no a robarnos el salario, empecemos por limpiar nuestro país, por cuidar nuestra naturaleza, por inculcar valores en nuestras vidas, por denunciar todo aquello que realmente nos hace daño de una manera pacífica y dejemos de pretender que todo lo que no va con nuestra forma de pensar es malo y no sirve, si queremos mejorar nuestro ambiente debemos empezar por mejorar nuestro propio ser.

    Paz en Costa Rica, como siempre la hemos tenido y como pretendemos seguir viviendo!!!!!!


    oigan hay veces que ver la vida de color rosa nos vuelve ciegos, los estudiosos no piden fuentes o escribir nuestros fundamentos; pero se han parado a reflexionar que para que queremos mas fundamentos que con lo que vemos a nuestro entorno, o ustedes creen que es una pelicula de ciencia y ficcion la hambre de los pueblos en mi natal chiapas, o de oaxaca, guerrero. Considero que los fundamentos y fuentes salen sobrando y debemos considerar la realida actual


    (al cuate de la autora dice)respetando mucho tus ecuaciones matematicas, la realidad esta ahi, sean 80 millones sean 40, 20, 10 etc, el gobierno de nuestro pais no debe permitir que su gente busque como unica solucion la migracion hacia estados unidos y a europa, y debe cumplir las promesas que en los tratados se firman (aunque no es solo de su parte) Y si no lo mejor es desligarse de toda dependencia que se tenga con estos paises debido que daria igual estar o no aliados comercialmente con ellos. a caso tu si ves reflejados los beneficios de los tlc’s. si si por favor sacame de mi ignorancia. con todo el respeto que temereces hasta pareces empleado del gobierno... bueno me lo imagino


    We have very good environmental laws.Perhaps the best in the world.
    The problem is that it is not being implemented.
    Consider the Clean Air Act-our air is so polluted that we are dying with every breath we take.
    The skyline is brown with pollution.

    Consider the laws protecting the forest,our forest continues to be logged.And the goverment cannot or will not abate it.
    We have less than 800,000 hectares of forest left.
    We will continue to have flash floods and landslides with every typhoon.

    Consider our Seas and Marine ecosystem as well as Protected Areas-Our seas are the dumping ground of all waste matters.The soil errosion that destroys our coral reefs. Our coral reefs and mangrove swamps continue to be harvested.
    Blast fishing and moro-ami continue and our fish catch has gone down.

    Consider our Protected Areas-They have been victims and targets for the extractive industries and are not protected.
    The recent Guimaras Oil spill has still to be salvaged.The oil sleek has damaged our visayan sea and may reach the Sulu sea. We are not protecting our environment even with all the environmental laws.

    Ballast water is released everywhere since there is no control mechanism. Singapore has but we do not.
    Our biodiversity and ecosytem benefits can erradicate poverty.As we are a megabiodiversity country Hotspot.

    GMOs are planted all over the country despite the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol.Our organic foodchain will be contaminated.
    The Swiss have banned GMOs for 5 years until proven safe.IUCN has adopted a moratorium.
    Why are we the dumping ground for GMOs,invasive species,mining and the toxic trade.

    Let the Senate ratify the Basel Convention and not allow toxic waste in.
    We can erradicate poverty and meet the MDgoals if we conserve our biodiversity.

    Let us protect our country and people first.

    Let us implement the environmental laws and stop the loggers. Let us not allow toxic waste to enter our shores.
    Good ecology is good economics.

    Antonio M. Claparols
    Ecological Society of the Philippines

    Ruth - I’m a university student researching FTAs:

    I would very much appreciate having the direct link to this budget report so that I can read first hand the Treasury’s comments on bilateral free trade deals.


    La autora dice " migración a Estados Unidos aumentó de 4 millones de personas en 1990 a 8 millones en 2000". Si esto fuera cierto, durante la década de los 90 habrían emigrado entre 40 y 80 millones de mexicanos a Estados Unidos. Lo cual, obviamente, es falso.


    This article by Forji Amin George , covers in indepth very pertinent issues affecting BITs nowadays.
    Can the editors kindly group articles covering the same issues together?
    Linda, Finland

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