No to WTO and Free Trade Agreements
- Published on Monday, 29 June 2015 16:19
On both sides of the Pacific, peasants, family farmers, and rural workers reject the extension of neoliberal policies
(June 15, 2015): We, members of La Via Campesina on both sides of the Pacific, jointly express our opposition to the TPP. This so-called partnership is in fact an extension of the neoliberal policies that are being promoted by transnational corporations (TNCs) with the support of the governments at their service.
Neoliberal policies and trade agreements have already caused catastrophic damage to peasants and family farmers and to agricultural workers, who are more and more at the mercy of the transnational corporations. The increasing control of global commodity markets exercised by these corporations constitutes a threat to the livelihoods of peasants, family farmers and rural workers, to the well-being of indigenous communities, and to the health of consumers. Their power is an affront to food sovereignty and social justice, and a threat to ecological integrity. As more than twenty years of experience with neoliberal trade agreements has shown, increases in agricultural exports serve only to increase the profits of transnational corporations; they do not raise the net incomes of peasants and farmers.
- Published on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 17:01
DEFEND EMPLOYMENT, FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, PEASANT FARMING AND LIFE OF ALL TERRITORIES!
Citizen mobilization prevented a multilateral free-trade agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in particular for agricultural products. In response, the European Union (EU) is going to negotiate bilateral free-trade agreements in all directions. They would like to drive agriculture and the food industry to the most unbridled heights of liberalism. Download the brochure to read more! DEFEND EMPLOYMENT, FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, PEASANT FARMING AND LIFE OF ALL TERRITORIES!
- Published on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 20:29
Press Release: Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movement
(India, New Delhi, December 1, 2014) As negotiators from 16 nations met today in New Delhi for 5 day consultations on the Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership (RCEP), Farmers, Trade unions, retailers groups, and civil society organizations protested outside the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida.
Amidst a large police presence, protestors, raised slogans such as 'Protect Indian Agriculture: Say No to RCEP FTA', 'Stop Undemocratic RCEP FTA' , ' Protect Indian Dairy Sector', 'If FTAs benefits people why are texts kept secret' , ' No secrecy - We Want Transparency'. Later, a delegation submitted a memorandum (attached letter) to the Government officials negotiating the RCEP.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 19:32
(New Delhi, India, November 29, 2014) Concerned over alleged lack of transparency of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), farmers' organisations and trade unions today demanded an immediate halt to negotiations for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proposed to take place in December.
The organisations and unions have shot off a letter to Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asking the government to stop the negotiations and charged RCEP will jeopardize government's efforts to revive the manufacturing sector, deeply affect agriculture and production of and access to affordable medicines.
- Published on Monday, 29 September 2014 21:51
(France, September 25, 2014) To denounce the imminent signing of CETA and demand a stop to negotiations on TTIP, the Confédération paysanne (2nd largest farmer union in France) occupied yesterday headquarters of Cargill FR, the first food processing multinational in the world.
The hundred activists unfurled a banner of 25m x 10m on the front of the head office, with the following message: "Holland, Juncker, Obama: don't offer farmers and citizens to multinationals, Stop TTIP /CETA". They occupied buildings and the trading floor the whole day, until they got an appointment with the office of Secretary of State for French Foreign Trade, Mr. Matthias Fekl.
These agreements are a major threat for french, European and north American agriculture and food. Their conclusions would lead to accelerated destruction of human scale farms, the only ones able to guarantee jobs in rural areas, good food and to preserve the environment.
Inevitably they will be replaced by factories (as the 1000 milk cows factory we're fighting in France), namely their perfect antithesis. Furthermore, these agreements will strengthen multinationals domination, in law and in facts, over the farmers and citizens around the world. La Confederation paysanne calls for a mass rally to block factory farms and stop free trade agreements and prevent these kind of dynamics that kill alternatives and great projects, especially for food and agriculture.
For your information, 6 unionists (farmers) and 3 activists will be sued before a criminal court October the 28th, in Amiens (north of France) because they've participated in civil disobedience actions over one year, to block this industrialization of agriculture. We'll be thankful if you could send us supports, any kind you could ! (written or video testimonies, donations, etc) in order to face this event and make it a symbol of resistance. Thank you in advance !
- Published on Thursday, 21 August 2014 22:07
To: Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman,
Minister of State Finance
138, North Block, New Delhi
Dear Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman:
We are a network of farmers’ organizations in India, comprising of farmers movements from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharastra.
We appreciate the Government of India’s uncompromised stand in the WTO and commitment to food security. At the WTO General Council the Government of India has postponed the Trade Facilitation Agreement indefinitely until a solution on public stockholding has been found. We appreciate the roles the Government of India and you have played in this position, and we will extend support to the Government of India for any pro-farmer and pro-poor position you have in the WTO. However, our position since the Uruguay Round has always been that there is no place for agriculture in the WTO, and Indian farmers have been the champion of this fight, both at home and internationally.
The WTO pushes through bad deal in the final hours; Developed countries and TNCs are the big winners
- Published on Sunday, 08 December 2013 17:02
Social Movements for an Alternative Asia (SMAA), Gerak Lawan and La Via Campesina
The 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) pushed through a Bali Package in the final hours, extending the Conference to December 7, but at the cost of the developing countries, the poor and the hungry.
Facilitating Trade for TNCs
Hailed as a victory by the WTO for unlocking the deadlocked negotiations, the Bali Package delivers a legally binding agreement on Trade Facilitation that is costly to developing countries and ensures easier access and profits for Transnational Corporations (TNCs). Trade Facilitation, or the easing of customs procedures and borders, clearly benefits only the big TNCs that already control exports and imports. As the 2013 World Trade Report data shows, “80% of US exports are handled by 1% of large exporters, 85% of European exports are in the hands of 10% of big exporters and 81% of exports are concentrated in the top 5 largest exporting firms in developing countries.”