In recent months, European countries and the European Union have been put under pressure from the United States to substantially break ties with the People’s Republic of China as well as to orient Europe’s military towards confrontation with China. The pressure campaign – which began with US President Donald Trump and continues with his successor Joe Biden – goes against the obvious interests of most European countries. China, not the United States, is Germany’s largest trading partner and has been so for the past five years; Germany, the economic dynamo of Europe, would suffer if it attempts to cut commercial ties with China. China is the European Union’s second biggest trading partner (behind the United States) and the European Union is one of China’s biggest trading partners.
The Heads of State and Government and the heads of delegations of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples’ Trade Treaty, meeting in person on June 24, 2021, within the framework of the commemoration of the bicentennial of the Battle of Carabobo in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, by signing this declaration, renew our commitment to strengthening the integration and unity of our peoples as the founding ideology of Commanders Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro Ruz; we vindicate the ideology of Bolívar, Martí, San Martín, Sucre, O’Higgins, Pétion, Morazán, Sandino, Túpac Katari, Bartolina Sisa and other heroes of Latin American and Caribbean independence, symbols of historical and cultural union of the struggle of our Indigenous peoples...
Vice President Kamala Harris is traveling to Guatemala this week to discuss solutions to the poverty, violence, and corruption that are among the driving forces of migration. Contributing to these drivers are neoliberal arrangements, such as the Central America–Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which have been imposed on Guatemalans. This framework favors the development of large-scale mining and energy projects that are devastating to the well-being of rural communities and Indigenous peoples, while allowing private corporations to sue governments over hard-fought social and environmental protections. Case in point: A Nevada-based mining company is suing the Guatemalan government for over $400 million, claiming violations of investor protections in the CAFTA.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)—the successor to NAFTA—commenced on July 1, 2020. As the first anniversary of the agreement approaches, too little is known, or knowable, as to what has been accomplished in terms of one of the agreement’s main objectives—the legitimation of Mexico’s labor relations. Over the past decade, Mexico has rapidly ascended the list of U.S. trade partners—achieving top status in 2019, edging out the world’s industrial colossus, China. As its export capacity in manufacturing rose—particularly in auto and auto parts production—so did the objections of U.S. unions and their allies to what can be understood as “social dumping.” That is, Mexico, unlike China, has kept its average manufacturing wage roughly constant—at about one-tenth of U.S. wages, on average—as exports soared in the NAFTA era (1994–2020).
Palestinian rights activists are aiming to block ships operated by an Israeli shipping line from unloading cargo in key US port cities as part of a campaign to pressure Israel over its numerous violations of international law. The Arab Resource and Organizing Center (Aroc), which is leading the effort, told Middle East Eye on Wednesday that its "Block the Boat" campaign had successfully prevented a ship operated by Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd from docking in Oakland, California. Zim, considered the 10th largest shipping company in the world, told MEE in an email that delays at the port prevented it from unloading cargo there, but did not mention the cause. "Due to operational constraints and long delays in the port of Oakland, and in order to meet schedule departures in the Far East, we will be calling on other US West Coast Ports until further notice," the company said. The Arab Resource and Organizing Center (Aroc), which is leading the effort, told Middle East Eye on Wednesday that its "Block the Boat" campaign had successfully prevented a ship operated by Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd from docking in Oakland, California.
Since 2018, hundreds of new sanctions targeting the civilian economy have been imposed on the people of North Korea. In 2018 alone, new and existing sanctions caused almost 4,000 preventable civilian deaths. Around 11 million North Koreans are deprived of sufficient access to basic foodstuffs, clean drinking water or essential medical services. Subjected to ever-increasing sanctions, North Korea is projected to suffer a food deficit of 1.3. million tons this year, worsening the already dire condition endured by a broad swath of the population. More than 40 percent of North Korea’s 25 million people are considered chronically food insecure, and one out of every five children under the age of 5 is impacted by stunted growth.
A new poll finds that 59% percent of US voters support waiving all patent protections to produce generic versions of life-saving medicines for critical diseases, from Covid-19 and HIV/AIDS, to heart disease and diabetes. Only 28% disagreed. The survey carried out by Data for Progress and the Progressive International, shows a super majority of 71% registered Democrats support the removal of all patent barriers to allow for the cheaper production of life-saving medicines. Even registered Republicans support the action with 47% in favor compared to 39% opposed.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has presented "some points" of a landmark cooperation deal that was recently concluded between Beijing and Tehran. In a message posted on his Instagram account on Thursday, Zarif underscored that the Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership focuses on a "practical promotion" of bilateral ties and provides "a roadmap and long-term horizon" toward such relations. According to him, the accord paves the way for full-blown collaboration between the two sides in the fields of politics, economy, trade, culture, defence, and security. The Iranian foreign minister added that the agreement envisages the principles of "mutual respect and the pursuit of common interests in a win-win manner regarding bilateral, regional, and international relations".
Last Friday, three days before a crucial meeting of the World Trade Organization, progressives in the trade, faith, labor, consumer, and human rights communities sent an urgent request to the Biden administration. These nonprofits and unions are urging the administration to act quickly to assert its leadership on a pressing trade issue—whether trade rules will be allowed to hamper global efforts to combat the pandemic. In a letter and a press event, a coalition of 400 organizations asked President Joe Biden to make good on his promise to “absolutely positively” ensure access to vaccines in the developing world. They asked him to support a temporary waiver on requirements that give drug companies lengthy monopoly protections, as well as the right to decide where the vaccines will be made and who will receive them.
This landmark proposal to temporarily suspend the application and enforcement of certain intellectual property obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), or the “TRIPS waiver” is to facilitate the effective prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19. Developing countries have stressed that the “TRIPS waiver” is an essential starting point for countries to ramp up and diversify the production of therapeutics, vaccines and other medical products needed to address the global pandemic. However, a handful of countries — mostly those who have a stake in the protection of monopoly-based pharmaceutical industry — including the European Union, the United States, Japan, Switzerland, and Canada, have been blocking the waiver.
In 2004, journalist Ron Susskind quoted a Bush White House advisor, reportedly Karl Rove, as boasting, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” He dismissed Susskind’s assumption that public policy must be rooted in “the reality-based community.” “We’re history’s actors,” the advisor told him, “…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” Sixteen years later, the American wars and war crimes launched by the Bush administration have only spread chaos and violence far and wide, and this historic conjunction of criminality and failure has predictably undermined America’s international power and authority.
The address to Federal Parliament by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 17, 2014, marked a highwater mark in bilateral relations. Xi was in Australia for the G-20 summit in Brisbane hosted by Prime Minister Tony Abbott. His theme was that China was committed to peace but ready to protect its interests. Since then, the relationship has gone downhill — first slowly and haltingly, but over the past two years with sickening acceleration. Now the relationship seems irretrievable. For educated Chinese, Australia is now an object lesson in Western arrogance, hypocrisy and betrayal of friendship.
Tomorrow a new trade agreement between 15 Asian states will be signed. It will soon be seen as a milestone in the global economic history. But only very few 'western' media have taken note of it or of the huge consequences the new agreement will have. The agreement is also a huge victory for China over U.S. hegemony in Asia: Fifteen Asia-Pacific nations including China and Japan plan to sign the world’s biggest free trade deal this weekend. The FTA will cut tariffs, strengthen supply chains with common rules of origin, and codify new e-commerce rules.
China is expected to sign a mega regional trade deal with 14 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region this weekend, wrapping up a major agreement before the next United States administration comes into office, Chinese officials said on Wednesday. Leaders from China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are expected sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as they meet via teleconference on Sunday, according to Chinese officials.
Washington — In honor of October as Fair Trade Month, Fairtrade America is launching a national campaign to generate broader awareness for how a simple action, like purchasing a Fairtrade certified product, can be a powerful way to make a difference in the lives of the almost 2 million farmers and workers participating in Fairtrade across the globe. The ‘Choose Fairtrade: Choose the World You Want,’ campaign features murals in three major U.S. cities — Denver, Los Angeles and Nashville — that connect stories of the people who produce the things we count on every day, such as coffee, cocoa, bananas, tea and more, to the positive impacts of Fairtrade.