Stop Free Trade Agreements!

South India: Workshop - Understanding RCEP and its implications

b_350_0_16777215_00_http___focusweb.org_sites_www.focusweb.org_files_RCEP_rotest_Dec_1_-_3.jpgRCEP is a proposed trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated between 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region including India that together cover half the world's population.[1]  Launched in November 2012, the 17th round of offical talks took place in Kobe, Japan (26 February to 3 March 2017). The 18th round of RCEP’s trade negotiations committee will be hosted by the Government of India in July 2017. But the key question is what positions should India be taking? 

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Additional Blow to Agriculture Through RCEP Unacceptable: NOUMINREN

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2017-03-21_Nouminren.jpgPosition Paper for the RCEP Kobe Round by Japan Family Farmers Movement

Farmers in Japan have a serious concern that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will damage small family farming and undermine the foundation of steadily feeding rising population in Asia. Under the liberalization policies promoted by national governments, the WTO, and various FTAs, small farmers already face hardship due to the influx of low-priced agricultural imports. Additional blow of liberalization by the RCEP will certainly accelerate the plight of farmers more unbearable.

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"CETA is a false solution to economic and political woes" - National Farmers Union

By Jan Slomp,

President, National Farmers Union 

Since Donald Trump took office as President of the United States, a shocking list of executive orders is making people around the world uneasy about unpredictable days ahead. Democracy and civil liberties are in peril. It is reasonable for Canadian and European officials to respond with concern to Trump's aberrations. But it appears that, fearing the uncertainty, they have rushed to ratify CETA. 

The deal offers the language of prosperity and progress, but in reality, accelerates income inequality and grassroots unrest. Both Canadian and European politicians fail to understand that decades of free trade-like policies have deprived too many US citizens of their economic sustenance and thereby helped to elect Donald Trump.

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Indonesia bargaining position in EU CEPA is questionable

b_350_0_16777215_00_http___www.bilaterals.org_local_cache-vignettes_L500xH198_1-14-2ae93-14a7c.jpgOn 24-27 January 2017, Indonesia and European Union conducted the second round of negotiation for drawing up arrangements of free trade for CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Parthnership Agreement) in Bali, Indonesia. The negotiation aims to opening the market at various sectors, promoting and securing the interest of foreign investors from European Union and Indonesia.

The negotiation would cover various issues such as the market opening in commodity sectors, liberalization of service sectors, the market opening in government expenditure, regulation of State Owned Enterprises (BUMN), strengthening intellectual property rights, foreign investors protection, customs and trade facilitations, and collaborations.

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LVC Declaration on Trade, Markets and Development

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2014_Logo.jpgLVC Declaration on Trade, Markets and Development in the context of UNCTAD 2016, Nairobi, Kenya

“Food Sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.” Nyeleni Declaration on Food Sovereignty (Mali, 2007)

(Nairobi, July 19, 2016) In the context of the Fourteenth Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) scheduled for 17–22 July 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, we of La Vía Campesina reiterate our commitment to Food Sovereignty and the Right to Food as well as our resolve to put an end to neoliberalism’s so-called “free trade paradigm” and “market-driven development” schemes that serve only to consolidate corporate control over our food systems. As a UN body, we expect UNCTAD and its member states to prioritize democratic and participatory processes aimed at policies that successfully promote food sovereignty. UNCTAD should not be used to promote the very same Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), including the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in Africa, that one after another have resulted in more hunger, poverty, and exclusion for people around the world.

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NFU Action alert: Trans Pacific Partnership input deadline coming soon

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-15_NFU.pngAction Alert: Email your input on TPP before June 30 deadline!

The federal government wants your input on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) by June 30. You can send your message to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and also to the International Trade Minister This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Opposition critics This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (NDP),  Hon. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Conservative), and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Green) and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade.

Please share this call to action with others so they can help protect family farms and farmers' livelihoods in Canada.

Trade deals like TPP are only superficially about trade – they are ultimately designed to limit the authority of national governments over their own economies and to expand the scope and power of multinational corporations. These deals contain ratchet mechanisms, such as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), that make it difficult, if not impossible, for countries to reclaim democratic control in the future. If Canada adopts the TPP our overnment will give much of its power to control important areas of public policy to the multinational corporations that benefit from the TPP's rules.

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European Dairy crisis: Demonstration during the extraordinary Agriculture Council meeting on Monday, the 7th of September *

Press release of the European Coordination Via Campesina

actionbxl.jpg(Brussels, 31 August 2015) The crisis in the world of dairy farming is a clear sign of the failures of the current dairy policy. If policy makers want to maintain the many breeders and ensure a diverse and sustainable milk production that benefits consumers, a cultural revolution must take place.

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No to CETA, TTIP says La Via Campesina

Declaration by La Via Campesina North America and the European Coordination Via Campesina

April 30th, 2015

On both side of the Atlantic, peasants, farmers, farm and rural workers refuse free trade policies.

We maintain that CETA, the TTIP, TPP and related agreements are unnecessary for trade between countries, and that these agreements will limit the ability of elected governments to make laws, regulations, policies and programs in the interest of the public, farmers and our environment. While the trade-related aspects of these agreements will not benefit farmers, they will weaken important safeguards and institutions that each country’s citizens have created and which reflect important social values.

Trade agreements such as CETA, TPP and the TTIP increase corporations’ ability to control regulations for their own benefit. Trade agreement negotiators, meeting in strict secrecy promise benefits to farmers that are largely fictional. Increased exports do not increase farmer incomes, but instead lead to a race to the bottom in terms of prices paid to farmers and quality delivered to consumers. These proposed trade arrangements increasingly put farmers as well as food and farm workers in every country at the service of the multinational corporations that search the globe for lowest-cost commodities at the expense of the livelihood of farmers, migrant farm and rural workers, indigenous people, women and the poor, consumers’ health, social justice and ecological integrity.

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‘We are fed up!’ Demonstration January 17th in Berlin

CALL: To the fifth “We are fed up!” Demonstration in Berlin

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Wir_Haben_Es_SATT_2014.jpg

“We are fed up with agro industry!”

Agribusinesses continue to gain ground: A few international corporations are undermining seed diversity and are pushing for GMOs on farms. Investors continue to build new, industrial mega-barns, where animals are subjected to sufferable conditions. At the G7 Summit and through free trade agreements like the TTIP and CETA, the world leaders are setting the course for the global industrialisation of agriculture. The consequences are ubiquitous: More and more farmers must abandon their fields, both here and in the south. Markets are flooded with cheap meat. The cultivation of monocultures is encroaching on the rainforest. Arable land has become an object of speculation. And worldwide hunger still remains a reality.

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Rome: STOP TTIP, CETA and other destructive trade policies

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_fta_fta-rome.jpg(Rome, 11th October) The delegation of La Via Campesina, gathered in Rome for the meeting of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), reiterates its rejection of the ongoing negotiations of several free trade agreements such as the TTIP[1], TPP[2] and CETA[3]. We do this within the framework of the Global Day of Action against TTIP and in solidarity with the 16th October, the Global Day of Action for Food Sovereignty. The delegation is participating in the 41st session of the CFS where the 10th anniversary of the Right to Food Guidelines is being celebrated. For small-scale farmers there is no reason to celebrate however, as the implementation of the Guidelines has not advanced at all. Conversely, trade negotiations, contrary to the Right to Food, are advancing at a concerning pace.

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