Presentation on theme: "Oxfam Canada: reducing poverty The objectives of free trade The effects of current free trade agreements Making trade fair Free Trade vs. Fair Trade Let’s."— Presentation transcript:
Oxfam Canada: reducing poverty The objectives of free trade The effects of current free trade agreements Making trade fair Free Trade vs. Fair Trade Let’s talk about…
What is Free Trade For? What is the purpose of NAFTA? To generate economic growth for all countries involved Economic growth obviously means a stronger country, right? Both of these objectives have failed!
How Has NAFTA Failed? U.S. growth > Canadian U.S. growth >>>>> Mexican Economic growth isn’t good if it causes declines in health, education, and rights.
The Great Trade Robbery Trade agreements are rigged by the rich countries to: –make the rich countries richer –prevent the poor countries from escaping poverty These agreements support many unfair trade practices. –such as…?
Unfair Trade Practices forcing poor countries to open their markets subsidies overproduction dumping higher taxes on goods from poor countries pushing the growth of cash crops supporting business run by multinationals, leading to human rights violations
Let’s Make Trade Fair A successful trade agreement isn’t just one that improves economies. It must do so without –taking from the poor segments of the countries involved – damaging their education, health, and social structures. So how can we change the trade rules?…
Changing the Rules Remove sections that force open the markets of poor countries and draw funding away from social services. Allow national and regional policies in poor countries to give their more poor citizens access to markets and benefits from trade. Ban countries from subsidizing their agricultural exports (‘dumping’).
Changing the Rules Give poor countries equal access to rich country markets. Stabilize primary commodity prices at a level high enough to pay fair wages to small farmers in poor countries. Make multinational corporations responsible for the working conditions in the factories they subcontract to.
The Risks But isn't this going to harm our economy and our businesses? Why share the wealth if we'll have to pay more for coffee, rice, etc.?
The Tradeoffs It isn’t so much that fair trade will harm our economy as that we will no longer be able to misuse other economies. Fair trade doesn’t have to mean higher prices. Think ‘global village’, not ‘us vs. them’. Think ‘long term stability’.
Take Action (Yes, YOU) Raise awareness. Raise your voice. Raise funds. “Never doubt…”
Conclusion We’ve barely touched the issues. –Read up on the WTO, World Bank, and IMF. Yet we can clearly see that NAFTA is highly imbalanced, and its proposed successors will be much more so. –Things that continue to be imbalanced eventually fall over. Let’s right things.
Recommended Reading Make Trade Fair site: www.maketradefair.com, especially its Act Now and The Issues links Global Exchange site: www.globalexchange.org/ (click FTAA link), especially its Background and Get Involved links/