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Agreement on Trade in Bananas will take small producers hostage


03 Feb 2011


Euro & Finance
Trade & Society

Following the plenary vote on the agreement on trade in bananas, Elie Hoarau MEP (France) said:

"This agreement is a clear demonstration of hostage-taking of small banana producers in the ACP and the outermost regions by global trade, just like the Geneva accords were, and the Doha negotiations are now. Deals and negotiations thought up, sought and imposed by the World Trade Organization without any consideration for employment or development policies. It is true that the plight of small producers in ACP countries and the outermost regions weighs little in the balance against the powerful interests at stake, those of the European Union, the Latin American giants and particularly the United States and its ill-reputed multinationals."

"Basically," Hoarau said, "reform of the banana market like the reform of the sugar market, are part of the same movement. This ultra-liberalization movement towards a single global market is advancing like a steamroller, crushing the weakest."

"Proposed compensation measures are neither sufficient to prevent the eventual ruin looming for thousands of farmers, nor to help those ACP States which are among the poorest, towards a truly sustainable development."

"We are being urged to sign these agreements to save the Doha negotiations and to force the signing of new free trade agreements with various Latin American countries. If only we could see the same willingness to save global agreements to protect the environment and the upward harmonization of labour rights and living standards, popular resistance to globalization would be reduced."



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