Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Your trade or your life!

"The focus on bilateral agreements is a reflection, in part, of setbacks for the U.S. in the Doha round of WTO negotiations--and the failure of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which was intended to extend NAFTA throughout the hemisphere.

Bogged down in Iraq, the U.S. has been unable to “deal” with its waning influence in the region in the usual manner--through military coups, covert interventions and the like.

South Korea has an unusually large agricultural workforce for an industrialized economy. Even with rice taken out of the agreement, hundreds of thousands of farmers could face ruin if forced to compete with U.S. exports, which benefit from a complex system of subsidies and supports.

The Colombian FTA may be the hardest sell of all. Two thousand Colombian trade unionists have been murdered since 1991, and more than 400 have been killed since President Álvaro Uribe took office. As the watchdog group Public Citizen puts it, Colombia is a “country where the murder of union members is their comparative advantage.”

Even if the Colombia and South Korea deals go down to defeat, there will be more agreements coming down the pike. To defeat neoliberal “free trade,” labor and the left need to translate the growing mass opinion against these deals into grassroots struggle--and to build solidarity with those struggling against the U.S. empire abroad, whether in its military or economic forms."

Just in case you were wondering why the Sanioura government and Nobel contender Haddadamus are so keen on signing FTAs (Free Trade Agreement) with the US.

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