Global Trade

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) plans to hold a protest outside the offices of Nelson Peltz, board chair of Wendy’s fast food restaurants from March 15-18. The protest will highlight ongoing human rights abuses faced by the agricultural workers in Mexico who pick tomatoes for the chain.
Takata, the Japanese auto parts maker, will pay a $1 billion fine to the U.S. government after pleading guilty to hiding information about the likelihood that the company’s car air bags could accidentally explode. Takata air bags have been linked to at least 17 deaths around the world.
A landmark legal case now before the US Supreme Court holds huge implications for lakes across the continent. Nearly four decades the Clean Water Act was passed to protect waterways from industrial pollution, a proposal by Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. to dispose of tons of effluent in Alaska's Lower Slate Lake has sparked an international debate.
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.
Issuing a landmark ruling that opens the way for compensation claims against oil conglomerates, a court in Nigeria has declared the flaring of natural gas illegal.
A confidential Ernst & Young audit of labor and environmental conditions inside a Nike factory in Vietnam was leaked to the Transnational Resource & Action Center (TRAC) in 1997. This is the first time that an accounting firm's labor and environmental audit of any apparel company has ever been made public. This internal audit reveals that Nike workers continue to work in hazardous and unjust working conditions. TRAC's report, Smoke From A Hired Gun is an analysis and critique of the Ernst & Young audit that shows that things are even worse than Nike admits.
Repsol, a multinational based in Spain, has brought a class action lawsuit in New York courts against the Argentine government for the re-nationalization of YPF, the former Argentine state oil company. Environmentalists question both parties over the impact of the company.
Are World Bank-funded efforts to compensate for corporate emissions sustainable? Or will they affect poor communities disproportionately?
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.
The past four days' coup and counter-coup in Venezuela leave Hugo Chavez in power, but the country on the brink of civil war. The chasm between Venezuela's poor masses and its oligarchs -- in particular, the rich, the generals and the oil companies -- is not going away any time soon.