Global Trade

PRESIDENT Macapagal-Arroyo has offered to suspend the issuance of new mining permits to try to appease Roman Catholic bishops strongly opposed to the country's new Mining Act, a top Malacanang official said yesterday.
The Obama administration began Friday to publicly chastise BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials initially seemed to underestimate the threat of a leak, just as BP did last year when it told the government such an event was highly unlikely.
Introduction to a new CorpWatch report that shines a light on the role of six major banks in Greece, Ireland and Spain in the EuroZone crisis. "The EuroZone Profiteers" profiles Commerzbank, Depfa and Westdeutsche Landesbank from Germany; Crédit Agricole and Société Générale from France; together with Dexia - a Franco-Belgian financial institution.
"We don't want to be an American colony!" shouted demonstrators who staged massive protests in Quito, Ecuador, on Oct. 31, as the region's trade ministers held their seventh meeting on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Meanwhile, thousands of Brazilians took to the streets of So Paulo to protest the deal, set to take effect in 2005, which would create the world's largest free-trade zone, with a market of 800 million people.
Last week, Merck, the pharmaceutical multinational, announced that it will pay 2.3 billion dollars in back taxes, interest and penalties in one of the largest settlements for tax evasion the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ever imposed.
How much money did Charles G. Taylor, the deposed president of Liberia, siphon out of his war-shattered country, and where is it? A review by the International Herald Tribune of court transcripts, bank records, and newly available government receipts and confidential prosecution memos show, for example, how the country's largest timber company sent tax payments to Mr. Taylor's private account rather than the national treasury.
Will demonstrators show that anti-corporate sentiment is alive and well? We look at the issues raised by the World Economic Forum in New York and the World Social Forum in Brazil.
Dueling reports released yesterday -- one by a consortium largely funded by the biotech industry and the other by a pair of environmental and consumer groups -- came to those diametrically different conclusions.
Rights activists are unhappy with the Labour Ministry's plan to amend labour laws to introduce 80 hours of overtime every month for factory workers, including those in export processing zones (EPZ).
The band that loves to rail against global corporate malfeasance is being criticized at home over allegations of tax dodging. The controversy stems from 2006, when the band moved its publishing company to the Netherlands to avoid a potential multi-million-euro tax bill after the Irish government capped artists' tax-free earnings at €250,000 ($315,000).