Thu May 2, 2013, 01:24 PM
ocpagu (1,954 posts)
Brazil WTO hopeful brushes off protectionist complaints
By Alonso Soto
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's candidate to head the World Trade Organization brushed off criticism from rich nations that his country is growing more protectionist, saying he will be a neutral negotiator of global trade frictions if he gets the job this month.
Roberto Azevedo, a diplomat who has represented Brazil at the WTO for years, is running against Mexico's Herminio Blanco, a key player in the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to become the first Latin American to lead the organization which sets the rule for global trade.
The winner will emerge in May and will face a huge challenge to restore confidence in the WTO's ability to negotiate a global trade deal.
Although both men come from Latin America, they represent nations with very different stances on free trade. Mexico advocates more aggressive liberalization while Brazil favors a gradual approach to bringing down trade barriers and a big role for the state in regulating commerce.
6 replies, 890 views
Brazil WTO hopeful brushes off protectionist complaints (Original post)
|Peace Patriot||May 2013||#4|
|Judi Lynn||May 2013||#5|
Response to ocpagu (Original post)
Thu May 2, 2013, 01:42 PM
bemildred (80,806 posts)
1. Tell the dumb asses that governments are SUPPOSED to protect their citizens.
"Screw your citizens" is not a recipe for a vibrant economy or a vibrant democracy, either one.
Response to bemildred (Reply #1)
Thu May 2, 2013, 02:03 PM
ocpagu (1,954 posts)
2. It goes against their faith in their weird 18th-century religion...
... and their invisible hand-shaped gods. They think that good governance is conducting a government as if it was a company. Citizens are collateral and not helpful in bringing profits...
But if a banker is in need, that's a job for...
Response to ocpagu (Reply #2)
Fri May 3, 2013, 07:44 AM
bemildred (80,806 posts)
6. Well, think about it. What are we told every day is the government's main job?
To protect us. That is how the whole national (in-)security state is sold to us.
So are we trying to say that Brazil is different, or that we are different? Either way, it is horseshit.
Response to ocpagu (Original post)
Fri May 3, 2013, 03:01 AM
Peace Patriot (22,102 posts)
4. Brazil has been very good on WTO issues since they elected a leftist president.
Brazil led the walkout of 20 countries at the WTO meeting in Cancun, in protest of the WTO's exclusionary, undemocratic process that greatly favored the U.S. and Europe, and greatly disfavored developing countries. Brazil's leftist president Lula da Silva had just been elected at the beginning of that year. His foreign minister, Celso Amorim, organized the walkout, which led to the total collapse of the WTO meeting, and stirred up some shit when Amorim compared the attitude of the U.S. (2003, Bush Junta) to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
Amorim has since been named Minister of Defense by the NEXT leftist president of Brazil--Lula's chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff.
The key issue at Cancun was agricultural subsidies, such as those given to Big Ag, by the U.S. government, for their poisonous pesticide and GMO so-called food production and their heinous factory farms where food animals are tortured and pumped up with hormones and antibiotics that are causing huge health problems in human beings. They get billions in subsidies--our tax money--for poisoning us! Their other crime is deliberately driving small farmers out of business.
There was a suicide protest at that Cancun meeting--outside where thousands of protesters were demonstrating. South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae killed himself, by stabbing his heart with a dagger. He had been driven out of business and was in despair at the fate of small farmers in South Korea. He loved his traditional family farm.
Here's a very good article on the whole thing.
From the article: "Shocking as it was, Mister Lee’s suicide is not uncommon amongst farmers all over the world–in India’s Karmataka state, over 200 poor farmers have reportedly taken their lives since crops failed in April and a Mexican campesino recently set himself on fire."
The statistics on small farmer suicides around the world are staggering, especially in wannabe predatory capitalist societies like India and South Korea. But the huge suicide numbers I've heard about I thought were all in third or second world countries.
I heard a statistic on a radio show the other day that shocked me even more. Suicide is THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR U.S. FARMERS.
Author Frederick Kaufman said these are mostly small farmers, just like Lee Kyung Hae, driven out of business--a business they love, a business in the family for generations--by Big Ag.
Kaufman's web site: americanstomach.com. His book: "Bet the Farm."
So-o-o-o-o, the U.S. ag subsidies that Brazil and their allies at Cancun were objecting to, are NOT helping family farms in the U.S.--farms that are often organic, that let their animals range free, and that produce LOCAL FOOD for local markets. The subsidies are hugely profiting Big Ag, which then produces--with all their artificial and poisonous means--huge surpluses of basic foods like rice, corn, potatoes and powdered milk, which they dump on third world markets, driving the local producers of good food to suicide!
It is a complex issue, to be sure. As the Counterpunch article points out, Brazil does ag subsidies. And I'm not crazy about the idea of imported food--food from second and third world countries, flown or shipped here, in a truly fair-trade market, where at least the "first world" subsidies and barriers are lowered. I am a strong, strong believer in local food production for local markets. (There are other issues, too, like cotton and cloth--it's not just food). But underlying all these matters is the issue of social justice--of past, quite deliberate harm that has been done, by the U.S., the U.K. and Europe, TO the developing world.
Serious harm. Example: In Jamaica, U.S. dumping of powdered milk on Jamaica's market drove local fresh dairy farmers out of business, and what was lost was not just freshness, but generations of KNOWLEDGE of dairy farming that the elders in dairy families would NOT be passing along. Jamaica lost food self-sufficiency, as this U.S. produce war involved numerous food products.
Coca-cola and MacDonald's are what comes next. AND shit jobs for those who might have inherited a satisfying life and work as family farmers, in wretched "free trade" zones, with no labor protections.
The harms and the grievances are many, and are very serious.
I hope Brazil succeeds in its effort to head the WTO. Like the other leftist countries in Latin America, it is both prospering and spreading the wealth, with FDR-like "New Deal" policies that will eventually help us, here, in the U.S.--the latest victims of the transglobal corporate monsters that were spawned here and now threaten the people who gave them their start, after ravaging others. We need inspiration. We need to restore our democracy. We need another "New Deal"--the only economic system that works--a mixed socialist/capitalist economy in a real democracy where everyone has a chance and we all take care of the elderly, the young and the sick or disabled.
That is what the left in Latin America is reviving--the "New Deal," an inclusionary economy and society.
Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #4)
Fri May 3, 2013, 05:40 AM
Judi Lynn (91,952 posts)
5. More power to Latin America in creating a real democracy.
The people of all the Americas need a good example.
The U.S. needs to learn humility, and LEARN from the countries the greed from this country already destroyed as they try to build their OWN world for the people who live there, not for the benefit of the creeps who destroyed us, as well.
Thank you for the refocusing on this subject. No doubt many of us read these articles and thought about them long and hard over the years, along with you, and reading your take helps bring us out of that sense of helpless isolation we may have felt earlier.
Too many good people have suffered for the needless redundant benefit of the greedy. Time for the world to awaken after a very ugly dream.