Poor Nations Seek Market Access, Not Privilege
Developing Nations Criticize Protectionist US, Europe
Bush's policy of protectionism and special privilege has been challenged -- by the world's poorest countries.
Here are some excerpts from a recent Associated Press article on the subject.
by Nicole WinfieldDeveloping countries demanded greater access to international markets and an end to export subsidies, saying fairer free trade was the only way to end world hunger.
On the second day of the U.N. World Food Summit, leaders of the world's poorest countries called on the United States, European Union and other exporting nations to give poor farmers a competing chance to sell their wares.
Many poor countries say the current international trade framework leaves farmers in the developing world unable to compete with subsidized crops from richer countries.
The European Union pushed for the summit to consider food a human right. Several EU leaders also acknowledged that high export subsidies -- among them in the EU -- were part of the world's hunger problem.
The United States [which recently abandoned free trade and switched to a protectionist policy] opposes recognition of that right and may register a reservation to the final document or may not sign, human rights groups say.
Italy's agriculture minister, Gianni Alemanno, said the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, which is hosting the summit, should play a balancing role to the World Trade Organization.
"FAO must be strong and credible ... to avoid that the processes of globalization be dominated only by a purely commercial logic devoid of an ethic of solidarity," he said.
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque went further, saying hunger would never end as long as wealthy countries controlled an economic system that he alleged deprives 800 million people of their daily bread.
Perez Roque didn't mention the United States specifically, directing his comments more to wealthy countries in general and the plight of the world's poor.
What's your opinion? Are special trade restrictions and privileges a smart policy for the US or any nation? Why does Bush fear and oppose free trade? Tell your views to The Progress Report:
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