News Release

Trade and Terrorism: Interviews Available


* Fast Track

Director of the Global Economy Project of the Institute for Policy Studies, Anderson said today: “As they pressure Congress to vote as soon as possible on a controversial bill to renew trade promotion authority, also known as ‘fast track,’ Bush administration officials are arguing that America needs more free trade to fight Bin Laden. Robert Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative, argues that there is an ‘inextricable link’ between economic prosperity and global security. But fast track is not the right approach to achieving global prosperity. U.S. forcefulness in trade negotiations has resulted in trade deals that primarily benefit large corporations, and the current fast track proposal would virtually ensure more of the same. In Latin America alone, the Inter-American Development Bank reports that any gains in terms of economic growth were wiped out by rising inequality during the past decade, a period of rapid trade and investment liberalization.”

* WTO and Beyond

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An economist and author of the book Democratic Regulation, Palast recently wrote the article “The WTO’s Hidden Agenda.” He said today: “The WTO is not an instrument of free trade, it is the institutionalization of unfair and imbalanced trade. Former chief economist of the World Bank and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz likens free trade by the rules of the WTO and World Bank to the Opium Wars. ‘That too was about opening markets,’ he said to me in a recent interview. As in the 19th century, Europeans and Americans today are kicking down the barriers to sales in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, while barricading our own markets against Third World agriculture and textile goods. In the Opium Wars, the West used military blockades to force open markets for unbalanced trade. Today, this is done through a financial blockade, which is just as effective and sometimes just as deadly.”
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Russell and Davis are members of the Health GAP Coalition, which has been working to ensure that developing countries can produce generic AIDS drugs. Russell is in Doha, Qatar for the WTO summit.
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An independent labor analyst, Bacon is author of the recent article “Fast Track Legislation Comes Back from the Dead.” He said today: “Labor standards don’t even seem to be an issue in Doha.”
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Trade and international policy coordinator for Friends of the Earth, Waskow said today: “At the beginning of the meeting, WTO Director-General Mike Moore stated that ‘We have learned a lot out of Seattle.’ Unfortunately, we are once again witnessing misleading and exclusionary negotiating tactics. If the European Union, the U.S. and Japan have their way, a huge range of new sectors will come under WTO rules, meaning greater rights for Northern-based transnationals, but possibly little else for poorer countries and people, smaller companies and the environment. These policies lead to the continued marginalization of many developing countries. The WTO is failing to address the concerns raised by poor countries and civil society…”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167