Global Trade

A new report today reveals that protests and riots against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its policies, are taking place in poor countries around the world. Since the Seattle protests ten months ago there have been at least 50 separate episodes of civil unrest in 13 poor countries, all directed at the IMF.
President Bush and European Union leaders failed to resolve deep differences over global warming Thursday, but agreed to stay together in the Balkans and made some progress on world trade.
Politicians from all sides rounded on the state-supported Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday as the row intensified over the failed bank's apparent determination to share £1bn of bonuses among staff.
Labor unions around the world faced a difficult year in 2001 due both to direct and sometimes violent repression, as well as the continuing pursuit by major multinational corporations of cheap labor in poor countries, according to the latest in a series of annual reports by the Brussels-based International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).
A new novel, "Eclipse," by Richard North Patterson, is based on the case of the Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, executed in November 1995 by the government of General Sani Abacha. The circumstances, along with related incidents of brutal attacks, are getting another hearing. This month the Wiwa family's lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell over its role in those events goes to trial in federal court in Manhattan.
This profile of Crédit Agricole is from CorpWatch's EuroZone Profiteers report which investigates the role of six major banks in Greece, Ireland and Spain during the EuroZone crisis. Loans from these banks helped fuel the credit boom that left the countries deep in debt.
ADM has moved beyond the days of blatant price-fixing that landed its top execs behind bars. But the company's forays into new global agricultural markets bring charges of complicity in forced child labor and rampant deforestation. Critics assert that the conglomerate's embrace of self- regulation and voluntary guidelines is but a cynical ploy to deter effective reform.
The meeting of Western Hemisphere trade officials to make progress towards the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) took place in the Argentine capital, which was practically under siege by heavily armed police backed by armoured cars and police dogs on blockaded streets.
Three villagers from the valley of Intag in northwestern Ecuador are suing Copper Mesa Mining Corporation and the Toronto Stock Exchange. They allege not enough has been done to reduce the risk of harm being faced by farmers and community leaders who have faced violent threats and attacks for opposition to a large open-pit copper mine in their pristine cloud forests.
This year's cause celebre was the campaign to end the use of sweatshop labor by the $2.5-billion collegiate apparel industry. Undergraduates nationwide demanded their colleges quit the Fair Labor Association (FLA) -- an industry-backed watchdog that opponents liken to a fox guarding the hen house -- and join the Worker Rights Consortium. Founded by students, academics, and labor unions last October, the WRC promises strict workplace oversight, free from industry influence.