Stop Free Trade Agreements!

La Via Campesina calls for an immediate end to EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement

The International Peasant Movement La Via Campesina and it's members, the European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), together with Japan Family Farmers Movement (NOUMINREN) are calling for an immediate end to the negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Japan. The undersigned peasant movements stand for Food Sovereignty as a base for public policies related to food and agriculture.

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2017-05-23_No_FTA.pngAcross the European Union and in Japan, transnational corporations (TNCs) are using their grip on governments to impose another so-called “free” trade agreement that will make life worse for the peasants of all affected nations. Launched in 2013, the EU-Japan FTA has already gone through 18 rounds of highly secretive negotiations.

With the U.S. pulling out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP), the corporate media reports that Europe and Japan, warning against protectionism and supporting “free” trade, are “seriously committed” to ratifying the agreement by year's end, signalling a warning against protectionism and supporting “free” trade.

Read more: La Via Campesina calls for an immediate end to...

India: People's Group reject RCEP

Press Release

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2017-04-04_RCEP_Meet.jpg04 April 2017: At a meeting organised by Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), La via Campesina, IT for Change, Forum Against FTAs, and other local groups, around 100 representatives of people’s movements from southern Indian states gathered at the Indian Social Institute, Bangalore from 2-3 April to discuss the implications of the proposed mega free trade agreement - Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

They represented a wide range working on health, agriculture, labour rights, financial and public services. The groups questioned why the Government of India is agreeing to be part of the RCEP, which allows foreign investors to sue governments, restricts policy space for governments, threatens access to life-saving medicines and puts seed sovereignty at risk.

Read more: India: People's Group reject RCEP

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? 

Read more: South India: Workshop - Understanding RCEP and...

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.

Read more: Additional Blow to Agriculture Through RCEP...

"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.

Read more: "CETA is a false solution to economic and...

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.

Read more: Indonesia bargaining position in EU CEPA is...

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.

Read more: LVC Declaration on Trade, Markets and Development

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.

Read more: NFU Action alert: Trans Pacific Partnership...

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.

Read more: European Dairy crisis: Demonstration during the...

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.

Read more: No to CETA, TTIP says La Via Campesina

Additional information