Bilateral EU trade with Africa criticised
The EU's use of bilateral trade agreements with countries in Africa "are destroying local economies and forcing local business and industry into a race to the bottom", according to Jacinta Fay, spokeswoman for the Liberia Solidarity Group.
She was commenting on a report The Free Trade Gap: Are EU Policies Trading Justice for Profit?, which will be presented in Dublin today to Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello, representing Ireland's EU presidency.
Ahead of a meeting of EU development ministers, the report says people were losing out to transnational corporations and calls for more equitable trade policies to "ensure that trade does not undermine development or government aid programmes".
Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor, founder of Friends of the Earth in Liberia, said the current trade model allowed corporations "unfettered access to markets . . . and we have seen this resulting in land- grabbing and human rights violations by extractive industries and agribusinesses".