EU development ministers must act to stop unfair trade deals with Africa, say EU NGOs
European Development Ministers meeting in Bonn this week (March 12-13) must act to stop the unfair free trade deals between the EU and countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), otherwise millions of people will be locked into poverty, said an informal coalition of European Non-Governmental Organizations, including Oxfam, Traidcraft and WEED today.
The NGOs say that any trade deal between developed and developing countries must be non-reciprocal, otherwise the deals will exacerbate rather than reduce poverty. EU Development Ministers should strive to ensure that trade deals between the EU and ACP:
- Do not include commitments on services, investment or other trade-related issues, which ACP countries are under no obligation to negotiate
- Are non-reciprocal and provide at least equivalent to existing market access
- Have simplified rules of origin
Furthermore, the EC should:
- Commit to continue existing trade preferences until alternative arrangements are put in place
- Establish guaranteed additional development assistance and aid for trade to help with adjustment costs, new infrastructure, and other trade related investments. This money should not be conditional on signing an EPA.
For more information, please contact: Amy Barry, Oxfam, +44 (0)1865 472313, firstname.lastname@example.org