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Background

World Social Forum Conference on Transnational Corporations
by Joshua Karliner and Ted LewisCorpWatch and Global Exchange
February 1st, 2002
This paper was circulated prior to the Second World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil in February 2002. It was used as a point of departure to spark debate during a panel on transnational corporations, that CorpWatch co-chaired with Global Exchange, another San Francisco-based group.

LOTIS Minutes
LOTIS
November 12th, 2001
The minutes below are from a series of secret meetings between top corporate executives in the Euro-American business world and the UK's primary trade negotiators. Between April 1999 and February 2001 the Liberalization and Trade in Services (LOTIS) committee held a series of private meetings in which the discussed strategy to impose a pro-business agenda on the WTO rules governing services.

WTO Confidential Memo
World Trade Organization Secretariat
November 12th, 2001
This confidential memo from the World Trade Organization Secretariat shows that after a series of secret meetings with top business executives that European trade negotiators had accepted the corporate position on a key provision in the General Agreement on Trade in Services.

How Corporations Shape US Trade Policy
CorpWatch
November 6th, 2001
One of the ways that corporations work hand in glove with US policymakers on trade issues is through the Industry Sector Advisory Committees (ISAC). The idea is to guarantee that the private sector and government work closely together during trade negotiations.

Terrorism and Free Trade
by Eric LaursenVillageVoice.com
November 5th, 2001
Barely a week after terrorists reduced the World Trade Center to rubble, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick launched a full-dress rescue mission on behalf of one of the Bush Administration's pet projects: the expansion of the president's powers to negotiate trade agreements.

The Players in the GATS Negotiations
by Tony ClarkeCorpWatch
October 25th, 2001
The U.S. Coalition of Service Industries is the top lobby group in the November WTO meeting in Qatar. The table below looks at 12 heavy hitters in the 67 member Coalition.

NAFTA's Investor ''Rights'': A Corporate Dream, A Citizen Nightmare
by Mary BottariMultinational Monitor
April 1st, 2001
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) includes an array of new corporate investment rights and protections that are unprecedented in scope and power. NAFTA allows corporations to sue the national government of a NAFTA country in secret arbitration tribunals if they feel that a regulation or government decision affects their investment in conflict with these new NAFTA rights.

The FTAA and the Threat to Democracy
Council of Canadians
On April 20, the leaders from 34 countries of the Western Hemisphere will meet in Quebec City to negotiate the most far-reaching trade agreement in history -- the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

Chronology of FTAA Negotiations
Stop the FTAA
Here is a chronology of FTAA Negotiations.

From APEC to Ashes
by Walden Bello with Marissa de GuzmanFocus on Trade
September 1st, 1999
It has been ten years since the creation of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). What started out as a lofty dream of encouraging unity and interdependence among Asia Pacific countries is now at the crossroads. It appears to be headed nowhere with no clear vision of what it intends to achieve.

WORLD: Multinationals and the World Trade Organisation
World Development Movement
September 1st, 1999
Governments of the rich countries, heavily influenced by corporate lobbyists, have given sweeping rights to multinational companies. These rights are being strictly enforced by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), with disastrous consequences for people around the world.

Maquiladoras at a Glance
CorpWatch
June 30th, 1999
What exactly are maquiladoras? What do they produce and do they pay a living wage? Which companies operate on the border? These are just a few of the questions answered in our fact sheet and map.

Health and Environmental Issues
by Rachel Kamel and Anya HoffmanThe Maquiladora Reader (American Friends Service Committee)
June 30th, 1999
Maquiladora workers voice constant fears about their safety on the job. In the electronics industry alone, workers are exposed to a variety of substances which include xylene, trichloroethylene, zinc and lead oxides, and nitric acid. Not only electronics assembly but other industries as well expose workers to the materials used in thinners, paints, solvents, resins, solders, dyes, flux, and acetone. Exposure to such substances without proper protection can cause cancer, reproductive problems, skin diseases, vision problems, respiratory impairments, gastrointestinal and nervous disorders, and headaches and fatigue.

Mexican Evolution for Women's Rights
by Howard LaFranchiChristian Science Monitor
June 8th, 1999
Guadalupe Aguirre had recently moved to Ciudad Juarez, a US-Mexico border city known for a NAFTA-fed manufacturing boom -- and dozens of murders of poor working women -- and she was frightened and frustrated.

MEXICO: Girl's Murder Sad Symbol of Corporate Power, Child Labor, Female Exploitation on the Border
by Dan La BotzMexican Labor News and Analysis
March 2nd, 1999
Irma Angelica Rosales, a 13-year-old girl, was raped and murdered on February 16 in the town of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, just a cross the border from El Paso, Texas. Her very brief life and violent death symbolize everything that is wrong with the social system which U.S. multinational corporations and the U.S. and Mexican government have created on our common border.

Building Grassroots Globalization
by Joshua KarlinerCorpWatch
December 1st, 1997
The old 1960s slogan ''think globally, act locally'' is no longer sufficient as a guiding maxim. Rather, civil society -- popular movements, non-governmental organizations, labor unions, academics, doctors, lawyers, artists and others across the world -- must confront the essential paradox and challenge of the 21st century by developing ways of thinking and acting both locally and globally at the same time.

Codes of Conduct and Carmelita: The Real Gap
by Gerard GreenfieldAsia Monitor Resource Center
September 22nd, 1997
During a two-week period in September 1996, U.S. Department of Labor Officials travelled to six countries -- the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India and the Philippines -- as part of a major study of codes of conduct in the garment industry. The outcome was a report, The Apparel Industry and Codes of Conduct: A Solution to the International Child Labor Problem? (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 1996).

U.S.-Africa Trade Policy: In Whose Interest?
by Tetteh HormekuAfrican Agenda (Third World Network Africa Secretariat)
September 11th, 1997
To outward appearances, Africa's big moment at the Denver Summit of the Eight in June was President Clinton's trade and investment initiative, offering expanded trade concessions to African countries to support further market oriented economic reforms.

Working Conditions in Sports Shoe Factories in China
Asia Monitor Resource Centre and Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee
September 1st, 1997
This report was produced by two non-governmental organizations in Hong Kong: the Asia Monitor Resource Centre and the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee. During 1995 and again in 1997, we examined workers' rights and working conditions in the factories of five major subcontractors producing sports shoes in China: Yue Yuen, Nority International, KTP Holdings and Wellco. These factories produce shoes for Nike and Reebok. The first two are Taiwanese companies with factories in southern China, while KTP Holdings is a Hong Kong-based company and Wellco is a South Korean-owned company.

WORLD: Tobacco's Impact on the International Community
San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition and the San Francisco Tobacco Free Project
June 30th, 1997
According to the World Health Organization, in 25 years tobacco related disease will kill 8.4 million people annually -- more than 3.5 times the number of people it kills today. Most of this increase will occur in developing countries where the Tobacco Industry has been working hard to open markets to promote its product, especially to women and youth, to ensure its profits.

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