- Key issues
Behind every free trade and investment agreement lies a set of corporate interests. Just as they have greatly influenced the shape, scope and contents of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, so too are transnational corporations (TNCs), sectoral industry coalitions and lobby groups mobilizing around specific bilateral trade and investment negotiations, to push even further than they were able to get at the WTO.
“Bilateral and regional FTAs …are formalized manifestations of where our respective private sectors have taken us…it is really business and government moving in tandem,” explained Susan Schwab, former US Trade Representative in 2006.
TNCs, whether acting individually or as part of industry coalitions such as the US Council on International Business (USCIB), the Emergency Committee for International Trade, the Coalition of Service Industries (US), BusinessEurope, the European Services Forum (EU) or Nippon Keidanren (Japan), are organized, aggressive and influential in their demands for specific FTAs. The comprehensiveness of most free trade and investment agreements means that there are many cross-cutting issues as well as separate chapters and provisions in these agreements which serve to shape policy regimes in the interests of TNCs.
last update: May 2012
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An Asia Times Online investigation reveals that at the time of his death, World Health Organization (WHO) director general Lee Jong-wook, a South Korean national, had closely aligned himself with the US government and by association US corporate interests, often to the detriment of the WHO’s most vital commitments and positions.
Sources say Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s challenge to the Free Trade Area of the Americas was on the top of the agenda of the Bilderberg Group meeting in Canada last week.
David Hamod, president and CEO of the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce, speaks about US-Arab trade relations
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US Senators Patrick Leahy and Barack Obama have written to the US Trade Representative urging that he ignore Chevron’s campaign to exclude Ecuador from FTA negotiations until the Ecuadorian government shuts down a historic environmental lawsuit against the company.
Crowder has been president and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association since 2002. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President, International, of DEKALB Genetics Corporation — now part of Monsanto — a worldwide leader in agricultural genetics and seed biotechnology.
Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE)/Nippon Keidanren Joint Statement
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