What's Up With Corporate Globalization? What Are the Alternatives?
noimage Increasingly the rules that promote corporate domination of our lives are being set by international trade and investment agreements. These agreements place short-term economic efficiency and maximization of profit above all other values, including democracy. They promote privatization, deregulation and unfettered movement of capital (the "neoliberal" agenda) which removes profits from communities and strengthens transnational corporations at the expense of civil society and the democratic process.

Since 1997, the Alliance for Democracy has had a national campaign to oppose international agreements that promote corporate globalization. The campaign first focused on stopping the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) and stop it we did, thanks to a strong international network of civil society organizations. Attention next turned to stopping the WTO Millennium Round in Seattle and that is history.

The campaign is currently focused on

* NO to CAFTA. With the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) on the ropes, the U.S. is pushing hard for a consolation prize--an agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic. All the countries have signed but the U.S. Congress must vote on this dangerous expansion of NAFTA.

* GATS and WTO NEW ISSUES. The Alliance opposes the expansion of the scope of the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the return of the MAI in the guise of new negotiations on investment, procurement and competition proposed at the WTO ministerial meeting in Doha in November 2001.

* NO to the FTAA. The Alliance opposes the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) which is the expansion of NAFTA to 34 Western Hemisphere countries with even more onerous rules. For instance, all services would be covered unless specifically exempted whereas GATS requires countries to agree to have specific services covered.

*DEMOCRATIC, LOCAL-GLOBAL ALTERNATIVES. On the positive side, the Alliance campaign includes development and promotion of positive alternatives to corporate globalization aimed at redeveloping and linking local economies. Out of this effort has come the Common Agreement on Investment and Society (CAIS) which features a global network of democratic local system organizations, with five supporting democratic international institutions. The CAIS continues to evolve. Your input is very welcome, especially your experience with local conditions and alternatives.

* UNITED NATIONS AND CORPORATE POWER. The Alliance believes transnational corporations should be held accountable through internationally enforceable standards. We oppose the UN's Global Compact with transnational corporations which promote voluntary standards of good conduct with no penalties for bad conduct. This allows corporations like Shell, Nike and Rio Tinto which have egregious records on the environment, human rights and labor rights to wrap themselves in the UN flag.

* CORPORATE WATER PRIVATIZATION. Seeing water as "Blue Gold," transnational corporations are pursuing big profits in the U.S. and around the world by privatizing municipal water services, exploiting natural springs for bottling, and selling bulk water to cities running dry.

Click on any item below for action, education and organizing materials.

To join the campaign, e-mail rcaplan@igc.org with your name, address, phone number, and area(s) of interest.


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