The so called 3rd World countries have the potential to help themselves out of the desperate poverty they are in through trade, but the current global trading system is unfair and it is backed by rich country governments like the UK government, other EU countries, Japan, US and Canada. This unfairness is forcing millions of people into poverty and causing harm to the environment.
This is something that the Liberal Democrats are really concerned about and we believe the following should be done to improve the world trading system and make it fairer :-
- A substantial reduction in agricultural subsidies, including the elimination of CAP production subsidies and trade barriers.
- Trade negotiations to deliver a positive outcome for the developing world.
- A system by which countries in genuine medical need are allowed to manufacture or procure royalty-free drugs.
- Providing support to the poorest countries to enable them to participate fully in WTO negotiations and conduct WTO disputes.
- Extending the structure of 'special and differential treatment' through which the poorest countries can open their markets over a much longer timescale.
- Reforming the Economic Partnership Agreements established between the EU and developing countries under the Cotonou Agreement to ensure that they are of genuine and equal benefit to developing countries.
- Revise the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), to allow countries to reverse previous decisions on liberalisation and/or add new derogations, to achieve a fairer world market in services.
It is because of this concern that we try to encourage Fairtrade policies whenever possible, so for more information on Fairtrade and how you can help please see the links below :-
- Liberal Democrats - Wealth for the World
- Liberal Democrats - International trade - conference demands action
- Eastleigh Borough Council - Fairtrade in Eastleigh
- Tear Fund - Fair trade campaign
- The official Fairtrade website
And personal favourite link on this subject because it tastes great is :-
In short if you have a choice in the shop buy Fairtrade goods and do your bit to help the struggling two-thirds of the worlds population do so.