IWG is a Washington-based working group with representatives from a range of faith-based organizations committed to asserting a stronger presence of the communities of faith in public policy discussion on international trade and investment. IWG believes that international trade and investment policies and practices present a serious moral challenge because of their profound effect upon the lives of people around the world and upon creation. The IWG's positions are shaped by its Principles on International Trade and Investment (see below).
The Center of Concern was a co-founder and currently co-chairs the group. IWG maintains the Trade Justice website (http://www.tradejusticeusa.org) and sends out periodic e-bulletins to keep constituencies informed of current trade issues and new materials on the website.
- Trade as if Earth and People Matter: A Working Document on Alternatives (IWG - June, 2008)
In this document, IWG seeks to contribute to the emerging dialogue on a new framework for trade that holds the promise of promoting just and sustainable development in the countries and areas where it is most needed. Trade policies and agreements must put people first! They should further genuine social and economic development for our neighbors around the world while preserving and creating good jobs here at home. They must support – not hinder – governments in adopting policies to protect public health and the natural environment. Trade policies must strike a balance between creating a predictable structure for international trade and preserving the policy space necessary for governments to foster and secure economic, social and human development for all their citizens.
- Interfaith Statement on Trade and Investment (IWG - May 2001)
This statement draws on the moral and spiritual principles of our religious traditions to provide practical guidance to address the profound and complicated ethical issues raised by current directions of trade and investment.
As consumers, we rarely consider the effect of our purchasing decisions on the livelihood of small farmers, the rights of women and children, wages or working conditions, or the sustainability of the environment. People of faith are increasingly raising questions about how the daily decisions they make in the marketplace affect others around the world. The scriptures and traditions of our faith communities call for justice in all human relationships - especially justice for the vulnerable and impoverished. The linkages of poverty and trade begin here.