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Comparative advantage vs. China - Tribune-Review

Comparative advantage vs. China - Tribune-Review | international trade | Scoop.it
Comparative advantage vs. China
Tribune-Review
“Comparative advantage” has a precise meaning in economics.
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New OECD-WTO Analysis Highlights Changing Face of Global Trade

New OECD-WTO Analysis Highlights Changing Face of Global Trade | international trade | Scoop.it

According to preliminary trade data released by the OECD and the WTO, business competitiveness and export performance are increasingly tied to countries’ integration into global production chains and willingness to open markets to wider imports.

The first release from the OECD-WTO database offers new insights on how global value chains impact trade relationships and business activity. Among the key findings are:

China’s bilateral trade surplus with the United States shrinks by 25% on a value-added basis, reflecting the high level of foreign-sourced content in Chinese exports.One-third of the total value of motor vehicles exported from Germany actually come from other countries, while nearly 40% of the total value of China’s electronics exports come from foreign sources.


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Rethinking structural adjustment - The Express Tribune

Rethinking structural adjustment - The Express Tribune | international trade | Scoop.it
Rethinking structural adjustment
The Express Tribune
The IMF's Structural Adjustment Programmes in the past have suffered from two conceptual flaws in the analytical framework within which these programmes were specified.
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INTERVIEW-Indonesia may turn to WTO if EU sets penalties in biodiesel spat ... - Reuters

INTERVIEW-Indonesia may turn to WTO if EU sets penalties in biodiesel spat ...
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The race to head the WTO: Final pitches | The Economist

The race to head the WTO: Final pitches | The Economist | international trade | Scoop.it
Authoritative weekly newspaper focusing on international politics and business news and opinion.
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Africa: Towards Structural Transformation?

At a gathering hosted by the Pan African Parliament in February this year, an impressive range of African thinkers, parliamentarians, and civil society organizations called for focusing development efforts on "structural transformation." This was needed, they noted, to overcome the limitations of the Millennium Development Goals and the damaging efforts of "structural adjustment" and more current "austerity" agendas. The points made seem to reflect an emerging consensus within Africa, but, as always, implementation in the face of inertia and vested interests will be a gigantic challenge.


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UNITED KINGDOM: EU ban on trade in seal fur set to be overturned

UNITED KINGDOM: EU ban on trade in seal fur set to be overturned | international trade | Scoop.it
A Europe-wide ban on the trade of seal fur and products is expected to be overturned this week, in a move that will reignite one of the world's most contentious wildlife issues.

 

The actor Jude Law has written a letter calling for the ban to be upheld, which he says would be "in line with the wishes of compassionate people all around the world". He sent the letter to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on behalf of the animal rights group Peta a week before the WTO's final hearing on the issue in Geneva and days after the start of Canada's annual seal pup slaughter.

 

Fur traders, including Inuit from Greenland and Canada and sporran makers in Scotland, are among those appealing against the 2010 EU ban in a European court. The legal battle is being led by the Fur Institute of Canada, which says that the ban has had an impact on the Canadian seal trade.

 

Fishermen from several countries also allege that seals have become a menace, with growing populations reducing fish stocks.

 

But environmental groups say fish stocks will not be boosted by a seal cull and that it is not possible to conduct one humanely. Campaigners also criticised Inuit groups for aligning themselves with commercial organisations.

 

The Luxembourg-based General Court of the European Union will hand down its decision on Thursday. If it upholds the appeal, the ban on importing seal products will effectively be struck down.

 

Seals are hunted mainly for their skin, fat and meat, but there has also been a market for omega-3 capsules containing seal oil. In 2007, seal pelts sold for £60, but that has dropped to about £6.

 

Concern is growing in Europe about the need to cull seal populations to protect fish stocks, even if seal products can no longer be used. Scottish fishermen are keen for a ban to replenish cod stocks around the Orkney and Shetland islands.

 

One Scottish fisherman, who has a licence to shoot seal, spoke to The Independent on Sunday on condition of anonymity. "People think seals are nice and cuddly, but they'll have your hand off if you get too close. I'm fishing salmon from April to mid-September and seals are a problem every day. They attack my fish and they attack me."

 

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director at Humane Society International (HSI), said the basis for the legal challenge is "irrational and absurd". She dismissed arguments that seals are to blame for declining fish stocks. "The largest predators of fish are other fish and the last thing anyone should be doing is promoting a seal cull," she said. "More species in the sea are only better for the ecosystem."

 

The governments of Canada and Norway are also conducting a separate legal challenge to the EU ban via the WTO, with further hearings taking place next week before a decision is expected in the autumn.

 

Since the EU ban came into effect there has been a dramatic drop in the Canadian commercial catch, where most seal hunting takes place: more than 40,000 seals were killed in 2011, down from 354,000 in 2006.

 

Rob Cahill of the Fur Institute of Canada said: "It is not about eradicating seals but about maintaining a balance between seals and fish."

 

William E Scott & Son is one of the plaintiffs challenging the EU ban and is one of Scotland's largest suppliers of sporrans, which are traditionally made from seal pelt. Owner Malcolm Scott said: "I've seen my staff cut in half and many of those now working for me are part-time because of the ban. The sporran-making industry has been completely turned over by the EU."

 

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Is Africa about to Lose the Right to Her Seed?

Is Africa about to Lose the Right to Her Seed? | international trade | Scoop.it

Seed and the control of seed lies at the heart of agriculture. In Africa around 80% of seed comes from local and community saved seed resources. This seed is adapted to local conditions. It forms an integral part of community food security and agricultural integrity. This entire traditional system is now under threat.

A broad front of commercial interests, aided and abetted by the World Bank, the American Seed Association and government agencies, along with front groups, academics and so-called philanthropists, are endeavouring to alienate this crucial resource. The international seed industry, owned by massive multinational pesticide companies involved in promoting hybrid and genetically modified (GM) seed, is both a primary beneficiary and protagonist of this thrust. While the motivation is ostensibly to assist the development of African agriculture, the impacts will be widespread and dire.

Simply put, the proposal is to create a harmonised system of control around the presently fragmented African seed trade regime and create a system based on what is projected as modern best practice. This includes uniform adherence to the strict 1991 Act of the International Union for the Protection of Plant Varieties (UPOV), across the board, for Africa. Because of the stringency of UPOV, the real impact of this will be the loss of control of the seed supply by indigenous small farmers. The consequences for food production and social cohesion across the continent will be dire.

Once locally adapted seed varieties are lost, dependence on outside seed suppliers will rapidly become unaffordable. The implications will reverberate far beyond food production. Indebted farmers are at direct risk of losing land tenure. On the one hand this causes accelerating urbanisation and social dislocation. On the other, good agricultural land is appropriated by large conglomerates. There is already a massive thrust by nations and corporations to gain land tenure in fertile tropical African agricultural zones.

The impetus behind this change in the seed regime has been building for some time. Consolidation within the powerful South African seed industry – the biggest in Africa - was recently finalised. The South African competition appeal court permitted the sale of the last remaining large South African seed company, Pannar, to the US multinational Pioneer, a subsidiary of DuPont. Pannar has well established African networks.

This merger firmly shifts control of South Africa’s extremely valuable seed industry into the hands of the world’s two largest, US owned seed companies, now ideally placed to use South Africa as a bridgehead into Africa. More ominously, it effectively removes the ready possibility of further evolution of competition in the industry. This has serious implications for indigenous seed trading and seed saving networks.

The rationale of the seed industry is apparently simple: if there is not a sufficiently robust mechanism to protect their intellectual property, their primary income stream is at risk. On the other hand development organisations like the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) swear that new seed being developed for Africa will be freely shared for the benefit of smallholder farmers. There is clearly a serious disjuncture between what is said and what is happening.

These massive seed corporations bring the lessons learned in South America to Africa. There, the growth of the soya industry, initially in Argentina and more recently in Brazil, occurred with no attempt to control the spread of GM seed by the owners of the intellectual property.

In South America this was herbicide-resistant GM soya, patented by Monsanto. In fact its spread was covertly encouraged. This non-hybrid seed was therefore saved, re-used and traded amongst growers in the region, first in Argentina, later into Brazil and Paraguay – so called ‘Maradonna’ seed.

Yet once the soy industry became established, Monsanto reacted aggressively and claimed royalties on all the soy grown throughout the region, claiming right to its patented intellectual property. It used various means, such as appropriating percentage of sales on delivery or demanding that overseas purchasers pay a direct royalty, even though its patents were not recognised in Argentina.

Similar attempts in Brazil were overturned in the courts with Monsanto instructed to return billions of dollars to farmers. It is presently attempting to circumvent the ruling by entering individual agreements with farmers. Yet the South American standoff between powerful farmers unions and the seed giants continues.

The seed industry does not wish a similar situation to develop in Africa. Hence the insistence that African seed laws are upgraded to the most restrictive, first world legislation, supported by the World Bank, World Trade Organisation and the International Intellectual Property Office, WIPO. What is occurring is a de facto case of neo-liberal enclosure of the foundation of agricultural productivity in Africa.

African farmers have long recognised this threat. Back in 1997 the Organisation of African Unity initiated a proposal to develop a “Model Legislation on the Protection of the Rights of Local Communities, Farmers and Breeders and for the Regulation of Access to Biological Resources,” known as the African model law. This was endorsed by the African Union in 2000.

While the African model law recognises plant breeders’ rights, these rights are limited and patents on seeds, such as are allowed on GM seeds under UPOV and WIPO regimes, are excluded. This approach is recognised and permitted under WTO exceptions under the sui generis rule. This principle has been adopted into Indian seed laws, where similar concerns exist.

A substantial number of broad indigenous farmers networks throughout Africa have condemned the draft protocol to accept the ratification of UPOV.  Most SADC nations have already agreed in principle to accept the provisions of International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources on Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), which enables far more flexibility and participation in seed transactions than the restrictive proposals of UPOV, yet this agreement too is threatened.

This matter appears to be coming to a head. Several quasi-‘indigenous’ seed organisations such as the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) and Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA), funded by USAID, have, without due consultation with representative farmers groups in these areas, pushed for the ratification of UPOV 1991. On the other hand properly mandated farmers’ networks demand that national consultations be held to discuss and analyse these proposals.

What is at play here is a direct conflict between peasant farmers networks and the neo-colonial attempt to subvert African agriculture by restrictive, first world regulation. The Southern African model is being repeated in East and West Africa, through similar comprador networks.

What will happen should UPOV be broadly adopted? As soon as indigenous seed becomes contaminated by patent protected seed varieties, all rights to share and trade that seed will be lost, forever. The irony of this is profound, as the very germplasm, which Monsanto and Pioneer rely on is the result of thousands of years of peasant breeding that remains categorically unrecognised. What is good for the goose is clearly not good for the gander. The end result will only see one winner, which will certainly not be indigenous African farmers.

If there was ever a time for the vocal proponents for African unity and values to step forward, it is now. Should they fail, African leadership will be harshly judged for enabling the next phase of neo-colonialism to unfold unopposed.

 


Via Giri Kumar
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Moving Into Corporatocracy: New Secretive Corporate Trans Pacific Trade Deal Will Impact All Of Us, As Our Rights Are Negotiated Away

 

The US-EU free trade pact and the Trans-Pacific Partnership are about securing regulatory gains for major corporate interests.

                                        -------------------------

 

March 30, 2013 The Real News VIDEO REPORT

Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese: Obama led trade initiative Trans Pacific Partnership aims to isolate China while strengthening corporate legal rights... http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-Zr5C6GqubQ#

 

May 1, 2013 Naked Capitalism
SECRET "FREE TRADE" NEGOTIATIONS WILL GUT REGULATIONS, FURTHER ENRICH MULTINATIONALS AND BIG FINANCIAL FIRMS http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/05/secret-free-trade-negotiations-will-gut-regulations-further-enrich-multinationals-and-big-financial-

 

Al Jazeerah

HOW TWO SECRETIVE GLOBAL TRADE DEALS WILL FURTHER ENRICH THE AMERICAN ELITE  http://www.alternet.org/world/how-two-secretive-global-trade-deals-will-further-enrich-american-elite?akid=10389.237541.YWdq_I&rd=1&src=newsletter833633&t=15

 

 

 

May 01, 2013 Truth Out
CORPORATE-BACKED TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP SHROUDED IN SECRECY http://truth-out.org/news/item/15142-corporate-backed-trans-pacific-partnership-shrouded-in-secrecy

 

April 30, 2013 Global Possibilities
SECRET GLOBAL TRADE DEALS ENRICH AMERICAN ELITE, WAIVE YOUR RIGHTS http://www.globalpossibilities.org/secret-global-trade-deals-enrich-american-elite/

 

TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP : CORPORATE POWER TOOL OF THE 1% http://www.citizen.org/TPP

 

 

TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP - THIS IS WHAT CORPORATE GOVERNANCE LOOK LIKE:  NAFTA ON STEROIDS  http://sco.lt/8xWubB

 

THRU THE BACK DOOR: Mega Biotech Giants Use New USA-EU Trade Deal to Destroy GMO Safeguards http://sco.lt/8E3Xsn

 

13 March, 2013 - Humanosphere
HOW NEW "TRADE" AGREEMENT WILL HURT POOR'S ACCESS TO MEDICINES - TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP http://www.humanosphere.org/2013/03/op-ed-how-a-new-trade-agreement-will-hurt-the-poors-access-to-medicines/

 

April 3, 2013 Huffington Post
OBAMA'S EU TRADE DEAL WOULD INCLUDE NEW POLITICAL POWERS FOR CORPORATIONS  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/03/eu-trade-deal_n_2994410.html

 

August 7, 2012 - Humanosphere
TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP A VERY DANGEROUS PACT http://www.humanosphere.org/2012/08/seattle-activists-seek-to-make-tpp-as-well-known-and-infamous-as-wto/

 

THE BIGGER PICTURE: TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE http://sco.lt/8U0kjJ

 

March 1, 2013 Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

GOVERNMENTS MUST PROTECT LAND, FOOD SYSTEMS AS TRADE LIBERALIZATION ACCELERATES LAND GRABBING  http://iatp.org/blog-agriculture

 

January 26, 2011 The HelIum
THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION http://www.helium.com/items/2076181-environmental-impacts-of-globalization

 

++++VIDEO: TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP - YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtBUL_rgG1k

 

 

 

-----------------AND THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING--------------

 

OBAMA QUIETLY DE-REGULATES GMO/ GENETIC BIOTECH INDUSTRY  : Fast-tracking Approvals, Waiving Regulations, Oversight and Liability http://sco.lt/5uCx8b

 

ANTI-WHISTLE-BLOWER AG-GAG BILLS AIMED AT KEEPING YOU IN THE DARK ABOUT OUR FACTORY-FARMED FOOD  http://sco.lt/7aFBUv

 

 

 


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pdjmoo's curator insight, October 7, 2014 6:18 PM

                                              VIDEO REPORT

                           The Real News, September 15, 2013
-▶ PHILIPPINE ACTIVISTS FIGHT BACK AGAINST CORPORATE AND MILITARY FORCES DESTROYING THEIR LAND, FORESTS AND LIVELIHOODS. Corporate agri-businesses like U.S.-based Dole, Del Monte, Monsanto, along with international and Philippine mines, are polluting waterways and destroying the surrounding farms. Chinese, European, Canadian, and Filipino mines are stripping away the mountains to get at what some estimate to be the largest iron deposit in the world. There also some of the most significant gold, nickel, and copper reserves in Asia.
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10725


YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY NEWS AGGREGATES @pdjmoo


▶ CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY http://www.scoop.it/t/environmental-and-human-health

▶  CLIMATE CHANGE WILL IMPACT US ALL http://www.scoop.it/t/changingplanet

▶  BIODIVERSITY IS LIFE http://www.scoop.it/t/biodiversity-is-life

▶  OUR OCEANS NEED US http://www.scoop.it/t/our-oceans-need-us

▶   OUR FOOD, OUR HEALTH http://www.scoop.it/t/agriculture-gmos-pesticides


pdjmoo's curator insight, February 28, 2015 7:42 PM

Trans Pacific Partnership -

-▶ THIS IS WHAT CORPORATE GOVERNANCE LOOKS LIKE:  NAFTA ON STEROIDS  http://sco.lt/8xWubB


Global Possibilities. May 20, 2013

-▶ THE 4 BIG WAYS THAT INSATIABLE CORPORATE HUNGER FOR PROFITS HAS DEVASTATED AMERICAN LIFE - AND THE WORLD ALONG WITH IT http://www.globalpossibilities.org/the-4-big-ways-that-insatiable-corporate-hunger-for-profits-has-devastated-american-life-and-the-world-along-with-it/

 

An International Affair. May 15, 2013

-▶ CORPORATOCRACY: THE RISE OF CORPORATE POWER IN POLITICS AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU Part I: TAXATION https://intlaffair.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/corporatocracy-the-rise-of-corporate-power-in-politics-and-what-it-means-for-you-part-i-taxation/


An International Affair, May 18, 2013

-▶ CORPORATOCRACY PART II: LOBBYING AND THE REVOLVING DOOR http://intlaffair.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/corporatocracy-part-ii-lobbying-and-the-revolving-door/

 

Common Dreams - Robert Reich, May 28, 2013
-▶ BEWARE CAPITALIST TOOLS http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/05/28-3



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Canada loses WTO appeal in renewable energy case

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Canada lost an appeal at the World Trade Organization on Monday in a ruling on incentives offered to local companies, a case that has already led to legal challenges over suspicions...

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