GCAP believes that developing countries must have the right to determine their own trade and investment policies, putting their peoples' interests first. International trade rules and national trade policies should support sustainable livelihoods, promote the rights of women, children and indigenous people, and lead to poverty eradication. However trade rules and policies, and the imposition of harmful economic policy conditions, have become the vehicle for the indiscriminate liberalization of developing country economies undermining sustainable development, increasing poverty and inequality.
We remind national governments of their international human rights obligations
We call upon them to use their influence with the World Trade Organization, International Financial Institutions and in regional and bilateral trade agreements to:
- Ensure developing countries are not forced to open their markets and have the flexibility to use tariffs for sustainable economic development.
- Protect public services from enforced liberalization and privatisation.
- Ensure a fair price for commodities, particularly for poor producers.
- Support the right to food and equitable access to land and natural resources.
- Secure affordable access to essential drugs.
- Reject harmful regional and bilateral free trade agreements.
- Immediately end subsidies that lead to the dumping of cheap produce on international markets.
- Increase transparency and accountability to grassroots constituencies in the formulation of international trade rules and national trade policies, while ensuring consistency with respect for workers' rights and human rights more broadly.
- Ensure developing countries have the flexibility to regulate foreign investment in the interests of their own development priorities.
- Regulate corporations to make them accountable to people and governments for their social, environmental and development impacts.
PHOTO CREDIT: EustaquioSantimano