Atelier 3, article 9

© Corporate Watch :
(December 1998)

                                                             "Trade & Investment Agreements"

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
The European Union (EU)
Free Trade of the Americas (FTAA)
Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI)
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
US-Africa Trade Policy
The World Trade Organization (WTO)

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Published by In Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies and the Interhemispheric Resource Center, this November 1998 report shows how U.S. policy in APEC promotes an economic model that downplays human rights and sustainable development. It recommends that APEC should be more transparent, participatory, and accountable, and underscores the need for the US to recognize a plurality of development models and priorities. 
Unity Statement of Asia Pacific Peoples' Assembly Statement from APPA, the alternative peoples' assembly to the official APEC gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in November 1998 

The APEC and Globalization A report by Antonio Tujan of IBON, a non-governmental organization in the Philippines, which critiques APEC, the free trade initiative for the Asia-Pacific region. 

The European Union
Europe, Inc.: Dangerous Liaisons Between EU Institutions and Industry. The summary of a powerful new report which shows how European industry lobby organizations work systematically and successfully to shape the policies of the European Union to their best interest, thereby bypassing democracy. Produced by the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO). 

Free Trade of the Americas (FTAA)
Free Trade of the Americas Published by In Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies and the Interhemispheric Resource Center, this April 1998 report examines the negotiating process on the FTAA and cautions against the negative impacts of the NAFTA model of economic integration. It argues for including a broader representation of society as well as including labor and environmental issues in the negotiation process. 
Call Issued by Trade Unionist at April 13, 1998 Press Conference in Santiago, Chile Issued by unionists on the eve of the Second Summit of the Americas (April 98) which brought together 34 heads of states to promote expanding NAFTA (FTAA). This statement looks at the failed NAFTA experiment, calls for an end to both NAFTA and the proposed FTAA. It lays out the negative impacts on workers, women and the democratic process. 

Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI)
MAI Fact Sheet produced by Friends of the Earth-US.
MAI: The Devil You Don't Know Nicola Bullard from FOCUS on the Global South provides a brief overview of this infernal agreement.

Joint NGO Statement on the MAI In October 1997, activists from every continent met in Paris to confront the governmental representatives negotiating the MAI, and to develop a global strategy to defeat the proposed agreement.

NGOs Campaign Against Investment Agreement Roberto Bissio of the Third World Institute in Uruguay analyzes the burgeoning global campaign against the MAI. 

The full current MAI Negotiating Text and Commentary is available from the OECD web site from Both documents are only available as PDF files (portable document format), so you need to have Adobe Acrobat to read them - which can be downloaded at no cost via a link from the above web page. The files are large - the MAI Negotiating Text is 124 pages, 351KB and the Commentary to the MAI Negotiating Text is 55 pages, 124KB.

Annotated list of MAI websites worldwide 

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
The Failed Experiment: NAFTA at Three Years An evaluation of NAFTA at three years (1997), this report looks at the costs of NAFTA by examining US wages, job losses, the peso crisis, labor rights, the environment and public safety. Issued by the Economic Policy Institute, Institute for Policy Studies, International Labor Rights Fund, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, Sierra Club, and U.S. Business and Industrial Council Educational Foundation. 
A Perspective From Mexico Carmen Valdez of the Mexico Network of Women Maquila Workers and Jaime Cota of the Workers Information Center discuss the impacts of NAFTA on Mexico and new ways of organizing for women workers in the maquiladoras. 

A Perspective from the U.S. and Canada This briefing paper on the $251 million lawsuit filed by the Ethyl Corporation against the Canadian government provides insight into NAFTA's powerful impacts. Ethyl used its right to sue national governments established in NAFTA (and included in the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI)) to sue Canada for imposing an ban on the toxic gasoline additive MMT. This case is a test of whether investor rights in agreements like NAFTA and MAI can be used to overturn environmental regulations or other safeguards. 

The Media's Love Affair With Free Trade Journalist Norman Soloman discusses the corporate media's one sided treatment of the NAFTA debate. 

US-Africa Trade Policy
US-Africa Economic Initiatives Published by In Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies and the Interhemispheric Resource Center, this May 1998 report released right after Clinton's trip to Africa, shows how the US administration's new proposals use trade and investment incentives to pressure African governments to adopt market-oriented economic reforms. 
US Africa Trade Policy: In Whose Interest? The new trade policy announced by the US has less to do with enhancing Africa's economic capacity and more to do with helping out American companies battling European competitors over the region's markets, warns Third World Network's Tetteh Hormeku. 

Meet the Multinational Corporations Behind the Lugar-Crane Africa Bill Who are the corporations pushing for the passage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act? Public Citizen looks at the records of some of the corporations behind the bill. 

The World Trade Organization: Who Owns the WTO? An in depth look at the corporate influence on trade policy, on the ground coverage, World Trade Watch: five hour-long radio broadcasts from Seattle, images, reflections beyond Seattle, fact sheets and more.

Towards a World Transnationals' Organization? Part of a booklet series by the Transnational Institute, Myriam Vander Stichele examines the decision making process at the WTO. She shows how corporate interests play a crucial role in negotiations while WTO decision-makers pretend that free trade is in the interest of all, as they ignore voices of citizen's groups and NGO's. Prepared on the 50th year of the global trading system under GATT and WTO (1998), the report also suggests ways to redress the current bias towards business interests. 
The W.T.O. Places Corporate Interest Above Humanity and The Environment A brief analysis of the social and environmental impacts of WTO decisions.