Warren Hits Back Hard on 'Broken Promises' of Corporate Trade Pacts

Report concludes that, despite pledges, US has routinely failed to protect worker rights under so-called 'free trade' deals

Published on Monday, May 18, 2015 byCommon DreamsLauren McCauley, staff writer

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2015-05-19-at-12.25.46-PM.png

Speaking at a labor rally last month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said workers "have to fight back" against corporate-friendly deals like TPP. (Image: Screengrab/AFL-CIO)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took decisive aim at President Barack Obama's pending global trade pacts on Monday with the release of a new report, which argues that—despite pledges to the contrary—so-called "free trade" agreements have a record of undermining workers rights.

The 15-page staff report, Broken Promises: Decades of Failure to Enforce Labor Standards in Free Trade Agreements (pdf), contends that under previous agreements, the United States has repeatedly either failed to enforce or adopts unenforceable labor standards resulting in widespread labor-related human rights abuses.

"Supporters of past trade agreements have said again and again that these deals would include strong protections for workers, but assurances without strong enforcement are just empty promises," Senator Warren said in a press statement. "The facts show that, despite all the promises, these trade deals were just another tool to tilt the playing field in further of multinational corporations and against working families."

Continue reading
902 Hits
0 Comments

“What is Inexcusable is Venezuela's Political Independence”

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2015-05-01-at-1.58.07-PM.png

An interview with John Pilger, conducted by Michael Albert.

Why would the U.S. want Venezuela's government overthrown?

There are straightforward principles and dynamics at work here. Washington wants to get rid of the Venezuelan government because it is independent of U.S. designs for the region and because Venezuela has the greatest proven oil reserves in the world and uses its oil revenue to improve the quality of ordinary lives. Venezuela remains a source of inspiration for social reform in a continent ravaged by an historically rapacious U.S. An Oxfam report once famously described the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua as 'the threat of a good example'. That has been true in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez won his first election. The 'threat' of Venezuela is greater, of course, because it is not tiny and weak; it is rich and influential and regarded as such by China.

Continue reading
894 Hits
0 Comments

European Union Targets Google with Antitrust Probe

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2015-04-15-at-2.03.40-PM.png

Powerful internet company operating to give itself "unfair advantage" at the expense of European consumers and competitors, says EU official

byJon Queally, staff writer | CommonDreams.org

 

If Google executives use their service to perform an online search for "antitrust + European Union" on Wednesday morning, they may not like the results.

The European Union has opened a formal investigation and sent a list of complaints to the U.S.-based internet giant accusing it of behaving in ways that give it "unfair advantage" over its competitors in Europe, opening a legal door that may have far-reaching consequences for one of the world's most lucrative corporations.

In addition to the broader list of charges regarding Google businesses practices on the continent, the EU Competition Commission, which handles such matters, has also opened a separate antitrust investigation which will look specifically at Google's mobile operating system, known as Android.

"If the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe," said Margrethe Vestager, the European Union competition commissioner.

Continue reading
1054 Hits
0 Comments