The S2B network was formed in the aftermath of the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) 1999 Seattle Ministerial to challenge the corporate-driven agenda of the European Union and other European governments for continued global trade and investment liberalisation. It has also developed as a response to the increasing need for European coordination among civil society organisations. TNI is part of...
The WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (the "GATS") has very much underpinned expansion without regulation and supervision, so the financial corporations had the guarantee that their expansion would be underpinned. But financial services are not the same as other services – they need special supervisory structures.
Talk of the dangers of trade protectionism is used by European politicians to obscure the need for protection from transnational corporations whose control of European trade policy continues to cause negative social and environment impacts. Susan George and Myriam Vander Stichele debate MEP Ignasi Guardans and Chief Economist DG Trade, Gaspar Frontini, in TNI's Debating Europe series.
The WTO's crisis of legitimacy is evident in that despite deepening food, financial, economic and climate crises—to which the WTO has contributed significantly—its deregulation and liberalisation agenda remains much the same as in 2001.
Alberto Arroyo Picard, Graciela Rodríguez, Norma Castañeda Bustamante
13 April 2009
An examination of the contrast between the EU‘s professed aims for supporting regional integration in Latin America with the actual experiences of the different regions in LA with which the EU is seeking to sign Association Agreements.
Manuel Perez Rocha is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, and regular contributor to TNI's Alternative Regionalisms programme who has been associated with TNI since 1996 when he began work on EU-Latin America relations.
Obama has not just backpedaled from his campaign commitments to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He has ended up expanding the accord which will remove even more checks and balances on the exchange of capital, services, and goods.
Associate Myriam Vander Stichele has been monitoring international trade negotiations and agreements since 1990, both at a regional and global level. She is an advisor to many NGOs whose indepth research on investment agreements and policies, and private investor strategies has sparked many international campaigns....
The financial crisis should be recognized as a very clear example of how the free trade and free market theory has failed, why the WTO should turn around away from this neo-liberal model and allow for all services and trade to be at the service of people and the planet, not of corporate profits.
John Cavanagh has been Director of IPS since 1998 and a founding fellow of TNI. He worked as an international economist for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1978-1981) and the World Health Organization (1981-1982). ...
Howard Wachtel is a former TNI fellow and an expert on the financialisation of the global economy who foresaw the financial crisis long before it struck in autumn 2008. His book in 2003 Street of Dreams. Boulevard of Broken Hearts: Wall Street's First Century (London: Pluto Press) is a widely respected history of the infamous New York street. Howard was the first co-ordinator of TNI's...
Dot Keet is a South African academic and activist involved in many national, African and international networks resisting corporate "free trade" agreements. She is an active member of the national South African Trade Strategy Group (TSG) and the Southern African Peoples Solidarity Network (SAPSN), the key coordinator of the Southern African Social Forum (SASF); as well as the continent...
The international free trade and investment policies and the related WTO agreements played a major role in undermining so many developing countries' economies. The proponents of tese policies, including the EU, are now urging the govenrments of the world to end their resistance to such policies within the WTO.
The major causes of the economic and social crises are now being even more blatantly promoted by the EU - both within the multilateral WTO negotiations and bilateral and bi-regional FTA/EPA negotiations - as the fundamental solutions.