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CAFTA's Debt Trap

Global Women's Project | Sat, Apr 2, 2005

CAFTA's Debt Trap

"Criticism of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) currently being considered by the U.S. Congress has focused heavily on concerns that the treaty would devastate Central American farmers who would be forced to compete with heavily subsidized U.S. agribusiness. In addition, many Central Americans fear that the deal would perpetuate a low-road approach to development based on low wages and lax environmental enforcement and undermine government authority to ensure basic services and access to medicines. These are all valid concerns, but there is yet another danger posed by CAFTA that deserves greater attention.

Read the full article, a special report by Aldo Caliari, Director of the Rethinking Bretton Woods project, published in Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF)."

WTO+10 Meets Beijing+10: New Paper From The Global Women's Project

Global Women's Project | Tue, Mar 22, 2005

WTO+10 Meets Beijing+10: New Paper From The Global Women's Project

"After ten years of U.S. participation in the World Trade Organization and a political emphasis on greater international trade as an engine of economic growth, we must ask whether women are gaining or losing in terms of job opportunities and wages under current trade policy?"

In their new paper, Bankrupt U.S. Economic Policy Forecloses on Women's Human Rights: WTO+10 Meets Beijing+10: The Impacts of Trade Liberalization on Women's Human Rights, Maria Riley, OP, Alexandra Spieldoch, and Kristin Sampson, members of the Center's Global Women's Project, consider questions about trade policies' impacts not only on women's job opportunities and wages but also on their access to social services, and on how much political influence women have in local and national decision making.

Incorporating Gender Considerations for the Designation of Special Products in WTO Agriculture Negotiations

Global Women's Project | Thu, Mar 17, 2005

Incorporating Gender Considerations for the Designation of Special Products in WTO Agriculture Negotiations

"In her recent analysis ""Incorporating Gender Considerations for the Designation of Special Products in WTO Agriculture Negotiations,"  Maria Pia Hernandez, Coordinator of the IGTN's Geneva office, argues that" trade policies require an approach that recognizes the interconnections between trade and other macro and micro level policies, which involve gender relations, human development and socioeconomic processes"" especially when it comes to agricultural products.

"Some organizations like FAO have started talking about the 'feminization of agriculture' in the developing world, based on the facts that women represent 66% of the economically active population working in the sector and are identified as major providers of food and income for their families and communities in rural areas," she writes. ""Nonetheless, statistics have also demonstrated that women tend to be disproportionately poor and disadvantaged; representing over 70% of the poorest global population with low level of ownership, control and access to productive and economic resources, assets and markets."

Read her full analysis for more on how trade policies affect special products and have a real impact on women's lives all over the globe."
Center Staff Member Attends Conference on Middle Income Countries Debt

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Thu, Mar 10, 2005

Center Staff Member Attends Conference on Middle Income Countries Debt

Invited as a civil society participant, Aldo Caliari, of the Center's Rethinking Bretton Woods project, recently attended a roundtable meeting at the United Nations-led Consultation on Sovereign Debt on March 8 and 9.

The conference debated proposals which will be presented at the follow-up to the Financing for Development Conference. The Consultation on Sovereign Debt specifically considered issues surrounding the debt of middle-income countries.
Beijing + 10 in light of the North American Free Trade Agreement: How have women fared?

Global Women's Project | Mon, Jan 31, 2005

Beijing + 10 in light of the North American Free Trade Agreement: How have women fared?

"The report argues that NAFTA has done little to improve the U.S. government's realization of commitments to women's economic and social rights made at the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women. Ten years after the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, U.S. women, in solidarity with their sisters in other parts of the world, are struggling to understand what gains were made in the area of the economy – not only for themselves, but for their families and their communities. In the United States, it is clear that the government has not lived up to its promises in Beijing. Despite advocacy from national women's, development, labor and human rights groups, since Beijing the United States has done little to incorporate a gender analysis into its macroeconomic policies and into decision-making processes, nor has it acknowledged that its trade policies are having a negative and disproportionate impact on women and children than they are men."
The Debt - Trade Connection in Debt Management Initiatives.   The Need for a Change in Paradigm (2004)

Rethinking Bretton Woods | Fri, Dec 10, 2004

The Debt - Trade Connection in Debt Management Initiatives. The Need for a Change in Paradigm (2004)

The close interrelationship between the asymmetries in the trade system and the chronic burden of debt faced by developing countries has not been sufficiently recognised in international economic policy. To the degree that debt and trade have been integrated in policy initiatives, they have been integrated from a particular perspective that has not proved helpful in supporting development. A change of paradigm is urgently needed. Debt reduction, or even cancellation, cannot have lasting benefits unless the trade dynamics that lead to debt accumulation are addressed. Likewise, proposals to reform the international trade system cannot be effective unless they incorporate a recognition of the crippling impact of debt on developing countries’ participation in that system.

This paper concentrates on the debt side of the problem. In essence, it explores the question: what would happen if a new paradigm for the interrelationship between debt and trade were to be applied in the debate on debt sustainability currently taking place within the Bretton Woods Institutions – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank?

The paper was published as a chapter contribution for "Debt and Trade: Time to Make the Connections", a book by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, on behalf of the International Jesuit Network for Development. Veritas Publications, 2005 (www.veritas.ie). Dublin, Ireland.

 

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