Author Topic: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia  (Read 8441 times)

skdadl

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FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« on: November 08, 2007, 06:29:46 AM »
Has anyone heard of this history before?

This has just not been on my radar, although I know that both the Bush admin and the Harper gov have been doing a lot of informal arranging of things in parts of South America, checked as they have been in other parts. This is the way they work, of course, as with the SPP. Anyway, news to me.

GDKitty

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FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 12:55:55 AM »
The FTA w/Peru passed the US House of Representatives Thursday morning, 285-132.  Almost all of the dissenters were Dems (116):
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The accord with Peru would eliminate duties immediately on some 80 percent of U.S. industrial exports and two-thirds of farm exports. It could increase American exports by $1 billion a year. A Senate vote, which could come in the next several weeks, would allow the accord to go into effect.

[...]

Democrats generally have resisted free trade deals they blame for job losses and trade deficits, and their rise to power in January was seemingly a blow to the Bush administration's aggressive free trade agenda. But the situation changed in May when the administration agreed to Democratic demands that labor rights and the environment be core elements of any future agreements.
Yeah.  Labour and environmental standards?  Why don't I believe that...
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Opponents noted that on the day of the House debate Wednesday, the Peruvian government had decreed a miners strike illegal and threatened to fire miners who do not return to work in three days.

The agreement requires the parties to abide by International Labor Organization standards. The pact also commits the parties to enforce their own environmental standards, participate in international environmental accords and not weaken or reduce environmental laws to attract trade or investment.

Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, said that despite the gesture toward labor and environmental rights, Democrats have yet to address problems with foreign investor privileges, incentives for U.S. companies to move offshore or issues of food import safety. She said a surge in American agriculture exports to Peru could also displace tens of thousands of poor Peruvian farmers, forcing them into drug production, paramilitary groups or flight to the United States.

[...]

Peru already can export most of its products to the United States duty-free. The deal will more immediately affect U.S. sales, removing tariffs, opening opportunities for U.S. investors and service industries and protecting intellectual property rights.

In 2006, Peru sold $5.9 billion worth of goods to the United States, while buying $2.9 billion in U.S. exports.

The agreement, if approved by the Senate, would be the first to clear Congress since a bilateral deal with Oman was accepted in September 2006.

Congressional action is pending on deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea, but votes are unlikely to occur this year.

skdadl

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FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 08:07:49 AM »
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... opening opportunities for U.S. investors and service industries and protecting intellectual property rights.


Protecting WHOSE intellectual property rights?  :evil:

Alison

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FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2007, 03:11:44 AM »
Harper is closing in on his Free Trade deal with Columbia, could happen as early as Monday. You know, Columbia : nearly 1000 executions of civilians by paramilitary forces related to Pres. Uribe, 27 trade unionists and 560 union officers murdered.

From Common Frontiers Canada - Columbia Action Network bold:mine:
 
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We recognize the importance of improved relations between our respective nations, but this can not be achieved at the expense of one’s sovereignty and autonomy. This FTA is tailored made for the transnational corporations with more guarantees for them than for the population itself which legalizes the violation of people’s human, economic, cultural, environmental, and labour rights.

In this context perhaps it is not so surprising that these governments of ours are restricting citizen participation in these negotiations. If the word got out about horrifying implications of signing such a deal, people wouldn’t support it. The Canadian government has gone so far as to ask Colombian negotiators not to share the labour texts with Canadian unions and non-governmental organizations, while the Colombian and Peruvian governments maintain a veil of secrecy over the talks thus denying their civil societies an opportunity to participate.


When he went there in July Harper said :
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"We're not going to say, fix all your social, political and human-rights problems, and only then will we engage in trade relations with you," said Harper, at the time. "That's a ridiculous position."


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For Canada it is claimed that this FTA with Colombia and Peru will bring “significant commercial benefits for many sectors of the Canadian economy.” These two countries represent “established markets with growth potential for Canadian exporters and investors.”


Peter Julian, on the other hand, is calling it another Bush-style FTA, another opportunity to grow more poverty.
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GDKitty

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FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2007, 11:42:39 PM »
Thanks for that link, Alison.  And thanks for identifying Julian--it wasn't clear which NDP MP he was citing.

skdadl

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FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2008, 10:25:15 AM »
Everyone should read Alison's latest greatest post about our Bush-surrogate's (her term for Harper) designs on Colombia, and some very welcome push-back, coming not only from a progressive leader in Colombia but, wonder of wonders, a fairly conservative USian Democratic congressman.

[Aside: Alison, I was going to develop a new crush on Michael Michaud for his flattery of us Canajuns yesterday ... But then I read his wiki profile. Drat.]

skdadl

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Re: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2008, 04:10:57 PM »
Colombian president Uribe's cousin and ally arrested for ties to death squads:

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BOGOTA, Colombia, April 22 -- Authorities on Tuesday arrested former senator Mario Uribe, a cousin and close ally of President Álvaro Uribe, for alleged ties to death squads in a widening inquiry that has implicated nearly a quarter of Colombia's Congress.

The arrest of the former senator, who built a formidable political movement that helped his cousin win the presidency in 2002, comes during an institutional crisis that has tarnished a country closely allied with the United States.

As the result of investigations that began in 2006, 32 members of Congress have been arrested and about 30 others are being formally investigated for ties to paramilitary groups that killed thousands of civilians, infiltrated state institutions and trafficked cocaine to the United States. Preliminary investigations have begun against dozens of others, including the president of Congress, Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez, who was implicated last week.

Croghan27

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Re: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2008, 07:13:10 PM »
Quote from: skdadl
Colombian president Uribe's cousin and ally arrested for ties to death squads:

Quote
BOGOTA, Colombia, April 22 -- Authorities on Tuesday arrested former senator Mario Uribe, a cousin and close ally of President Álvaro Uribe, for alleged ties to death squads in a widening inquiry that has implicated nearly a quarter of Colombia's Congress.

The question now is whether this is a genuine movement to some kind of honest responsible government in that poor country, or does it just mean that he has lost to some other bunch of thugs and gangsters who will continue the dreadful practises of Uribe & Co.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

skdadl

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Re: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2008, 07:33:56 PM »
I don't know enough about where the other centre/s of power would be. Given how close all this is coming to Uribe, something powerful must be driving it, either in Congress or in the Supreme Court (see end of article), but I don't know enough to guess what/who.

BushCo must be furious. Whoever is doing this is setting self up for trouble from the Merkins. And Steve isn't going to be very happy either -- he was very keen to join in an FTA in Colombia.

Toedancer

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Re: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2008, 10:22:05 AM »
During the 3 amigos press conference this is what Bushco said about Colombia.

And in terms of President Uribe, we got no better friend in South America than President Uribe. He believes strongly in rule of law. He's a reformer, and he's working hard to protect his country from a bunch of narco traffickers who murder innocent people to achieve their objectives. And he ought to have our support. He has the support of the United States of America in many ways, but if we don't agree to a free trade agreement that we honest -- negotiated in good faith with them, it will undermine his efforts, and will destabilize parts of the world. And it would be a big mistake for the Congress to turn its back on Colombia.

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"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

skdadl

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Re: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2008, 10:28:49 AM »
Both Bush and Harper were speaking before the news of the Uribe cousin's arrest was public, although Bush may have known about it earlier -- notice how often he returned to the subject in that presser. It's a shame there wasn't a reporter prepped with the story to ask a really tough question on this turf -- there had better be one next time.

Alison

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Re: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2008, 02:39:50 AM »
Canada, Colombia reach agreement on free trade
Now it goes to the HoC.
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They have also committed to protections for occupational health and safety, and to minimum employment standards such as minimum wage and hours of work.
The agreement reaffirms both countries' commitments under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to strengthen the protection of biological diversity and to respect indigenous and local communities.

Nothing about not killing them any more though, which I would have thought would precede rules about minimum wage and hours of work.

Best argument against this deal was made by a Colombian opposition MP :
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Mr. García-Peña says that if a trade pact were in place, Canadian companies would be attracted to Colombia for all the wrong reasons, namely to take advantage of the country's weak labour, human rights and environmental laws.

"Many companies will come to bypass the laws Canada has and take advantage of Colombian standards, which are much lower," he says in a phone interview. "In many ways [this could] promote the exploitation of workers."

Furthermore, Mr. García-Peña says, a trade deal could destroy the livelihoods of many small Colombian farmers by flooding the market with subsidized agricultural imports.

"The small peasant farmer would be unable to compete with the cheap imports of food," he says. "They have very primitive means of production. [This] would wipe them out."

Those who would benefit, he says, are the large agro-businesses in Colombia that would buy up the land of destitute farmers for the production of biodiesel, palm oil and beef for export.

Worst of all, Mr. García-Peña adds, these large agro-businesses have ties to the paramilitary squads at the heart of the ongoing rights abuses and violence in the South American country

Croghan27

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Re: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 03:23:35 AM »
A very good statement by those unions ...  :D  Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world for any union people - not just activists - but regular members.

from Air America and the Teamsters:
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Paramilitary death squads in Colombia have systematically assassinated thousands of workers over the past twenty years for attempting to organize unions. But who is the real victim in this union-busting bloodbath?

Rewarding murder with free trade is not the way to go.

Mind you - it will lower probably the cost of cocaine. Uribe, his supporters and family will see to that.  :whis:
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

skdadl

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Re: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 06:22:54 AM »
Very pithy summary, Croghan.

There is simply no level of indecency to which these bastards will not sink.

Alison

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Re: FTA agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2009, 07:21:20 PM »
Bill C-23 -The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement - passed first reading in the HoC on March 26.
Some links - A licence to kill

 

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