The Globe and Mail has declared the Security and Prosperity Partnership dead and the World Trade Organization won’t hold its annual conference in Doha, Switzerland, because they can’t get the big players to agree on a multilateral trade liberalization deal.
CUPE members will recall the SPP meeting near Ottawa in August. That meeting saw some police officers disguised as protesters trying to start a riot. CUPE caught the culprits on film and the union movement is battling to have the whole incident fully and publicly investigated.
If that’s what SPP stands for, it is good news indeed that the deal is toast.
Elsewhere, an Agence France Presse item quotes the WTO chair saying they won’t hold a meeting on the so-called Doha Round until the end of the year. Don’t hurry on our account, observers might say.
The Doha Round would tear down trade barriers between rich and poor countries. But it would also open the floodgates for big companies to roll into little countries and ‘liberalize’ their economies.
Meanwhile, the bad trade news is that on Oct. 7 Costa Rica voted in a referendum for a free trade deal with the United States.
Critics fear that the Central American country’s economy will be threatened and its welfare system jeopardized. They say the government used the media to announce various catastrophes that could occur if the citizens voted against the deal known as CAFTA. They also say the government refused to allow election observers into the country.
Critics are also concerned that CAFTA will open up telecommunications and agricultural sectors to competition and this could flood the local market with cheap imports.
“It us essential to surround the population of this nation and demand at the international level that the government [of President Oscar Arias] not manipulate the results,” the Hemispheric Social Alliance said before the vote.
“A ‘No’ victory would be a victory for the whole continent and a new signal that the times are changing in favour of the interests of the peoples of the continent.”