[mgj-discuss] AFTA Noise Picket :: Monday 3/14 :: Noon to 1 pm
hope at 50years.org
Wed Mar 9 20:34:46 GMT 2005
When the US-Andean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) comes to
town, let them know that we:
SAY NO TO DESTRUCTIVE AND UNFAIR TRADE AGREEMENTS,
AND SAY YES TO WORKERS' RIGHTS, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH,
SMALL FARMERS, AND DEMOCRACY!
Join the Mobilization for Global Justice in a Noise
*Monday, March 14th, 2005
*Noon to 1 pm
*USTR (17th and H Sts NW, Washington, DC)
Bring your pots, pans, and other noise makers!
September 2003: World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in
Cancun, Mexico, collapse?
November 2003: Free Trade of the Americas Agreement (FTAA)
talks fail to begin?
December 2003: Mobilization for Global Justice (MGJ)
pickets CAFTA talks in DC?
March 14th, 2005: US-Andean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA)
talks come to DC?
This spring, Washington DC will play host to a partial
round of negotiations of the US-Andean Free Trade
Agreement (AFTA), between the United States, Colombia,
Peru, and Ecuador, with Bolivia observing. The
negotiations follow 7 prior rounds of talks and will focus
mainly on property rights and investment.
This round of AFTA features bilateral negotiations in
which the US will attempt to browbeat the participating
nations into accepting their terms - part of the US'
attempt to resuscitate the FTAA through regional and
bilateral agreements. Bush is using fast track
legislation which allows him to bypass Congress and have
the AFTA signed by the end of this summer. The process
lacks transparency and undermines democratic processes in
all the countries involved, including the US.
AFTA is a bad deal for:
* Working people: AFTA contains no enforceable labor
protections, and is feared to escalate violence against
labor organizers, especially in Columbia, where over 160
labor leaders have been killed since 2003.
* Small farmers: AFTA will lower tariffs on agricultural
products, creating markets that are vulnerable to dumping
of highly subsidized products by the US. This will force
many small farmers into coca production, fuelling the
cocaine trade. In addition, AFTA's chapter on
intellectual property rights and the patenting of seeds
threatens agricultural sovereignty.
* Public health: Through AFTA's intellectual property
provisions, the US is pushing to extend the period of
patent protection beyond the 20 years established by the
WTO, making it impossible for governments to use generic
drugs or parallel production to provide access to
* Women, children, and the poor: AFTA includes provisions
promoting the privatization and deregulation of essential
services such as water, healthcare and education. As
these services become less accessible, the burden falls on
women, children, and other vulnerable populations.
* The environment: AFTA provides no enforceable
environmental protections, and AFTA countries can expect
the same environmental degradation experienced by
countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement
When the representatives of Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and
Ecuador come to town, let them know that that the people
of the US say YES to access to essential services,
workers' rights, the environment, and economic justice,
and NO to AFTA!
hope at 50years dot org
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