The face of global trade is changing. Trade agreements such as the FTAA to CAFTA and NAFTA have opened borders for more robust trade, but often at the expense of human rights and environmental protections. A push is gaining momentum to replace the idea of "free trade" - which generally favors the most powerful nations - with "fair trade," which puts producers in developing nations on a more level playing field.
EUROPE: Europe’s Vast Farm Subsidies Face Challenges by STEPHEN CASTLE and DOREEN CARVAJAL, New York Times December 29th, 2009 The last time the European Union decided the future of its 50 billion euro agricultural aid program, in 2005, the deal was cut behind closed doors in a luxury suite at the five-star Conrad Brussels hotel. Now, 2013 is closer at hand and a new round of maneuvering has begun to reshape the richest system of agricultural handouts in the world.
FIJI: Fiji Water: Spin the Bottle by Anna Lenzer, Mother Jones August 17th, 2009 Obama sips it. Paris Hilton loves it. Mary J. Blige won't sing without it. How did a plastic water bottle, imported from a military dictatorship thousands of miles away, become the epitome of cool?