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- Introduction

- Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)

- Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

- A New Vision for Trade

- Trade News from our Brussels Office

- News and information from other sources



Good, fair trade relations between regions, countries and continents are one of the foundations of a peaceful world. Oppressive relations, driven by greed for profits at the expense of people and our planet, are the cause of unrest.
Trade has always existed. From earliest times, people and villages have traded goods with their neighbours. If these exchanges are fair, trade can bring about development, prosperity and human well-being. But trade on unequal terms is damaging; it creates and maintains inequity, exploits the weakest and can lead to poverty, conflict and environmental destruction. Unfortunately, the institutions, rules and practices of contemporary international trade come into the second category.

The rules governing international trade and trade agreements are made by the rich countries in the West with their own interests in mind while poor countries in Africa are having them imposed upon them. In many African countries the international trade system has taken away the livelihood of the people and is keeping them destitute and dependent on aid. We believe trade should be a way of sharing the resources of the earth and the fruits of human labour, yet all too often it is a force that leads to injustice, poverty, despair and death, especially in the Global South.



Economic Partnership Agreements: In recent years, the European Union has being trying to force African countries and regions into signing Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), a FREE TRADE regime that is compatible with international trade law set by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). While at first sight this might seem good, a second glance quickly shows that these agreements will allow wealthier countries to flood poorer ones with their goods which will increase unemployment in the importing countries who will be unable to compete; the EPAs will also deprive the poorest countries of import tax income that would have funded education, health and other social projects.Man2

For a more detailed history and analysis of the issue, see AEFJN's Manual on Economic Justice, Volume 2, Chapter 3 by clicking on AEFJN Manual. This recently published 2-volume manual can be purchased from AEFJN-UK at a very reasonable cost. For details write to aefjnuk@yahoo.co.uk. Volume 1 deals with a process to help Christian groups be effective agents of change while Volume 2 is dedicated to practical issues relating to access to Quality Medicines, Climate Change, Raw Materials and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Food Sovereignty and Land Grabbing and the control of the Small Arms Trade.

TTIP being used to put profits of big business ahead of our society

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed Free Trade agreement between the EU and the US. It has been compared to a Trojan Horse that endangers democratic rights, consumer protection and environmental and social standards in Europe. It is also a threat to the development of poorer nations and faces much criticism. The aim of agreements such as TTIP is to privatise public services such as water and energy supply, and later health and education, and thus subject them to the profit-orientated laws of the market place. It comes as no surprise that negotiations have been carried out with the absolute minimum of openness and transparency

If two of the world's most powerful economic blocs unite, there are bound to be consequences for the nations of Africa. For example, they will be less able to defend their peoples' interests at the WTO; their opportunities for exporting will be reduced in the face of cheaper products form the EU and US; greed for profits for the powerful will damage chances of developing models of sustainable development - African countries will not be able to have a model of development compatible with their objectives of poverty reduction, job creation and adaptation to climate change.

An A4 sheet giving background information to TTIP has been prepared by AEFJN's German Antenna and is available here.

A New Vision for Trade

Alternative Trade Mandate – time for a new vision
The present world’s corporate trade model is failing people, communities, and the environment
AEFJN-UK's position paper


The Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance is an alliance of about 50 organisations, including AEFJN, developing an alternative vision for European trade policy that puts people and planet before big business.
Its belief is that Europe’s trade has to be fundamentally changed. The alternative respects human rights and is democratically controlled by parliamentarians and the public. It is ecological, respects gender equality and creates justice between countries, social classes and ethnicities. The new trade policy would increase economic, social and environmental well-being globally.

The Alternative Trade Mandate alliance is not opposed to trade in itself, but trade can take many different forms. A world with fairer trade rules has the potential to transform the lives of millions. Applying fairer rules to trade could help rebalance economies and societies, putting the interests of people and the planet first.

For the full text: The Alternative Trade Mandate

Trade News from our Brussels office

February 2018
Mozambique joins the EPA between the EU and Southern African States
The absurd implementation of Ghana's interim EP
The EC’s Recommendations for the Post-Cotonou Negotiations: Some Implications for ACP
Extraordinary summit to be held on Africa’s CFTA this March

December 2017
Continental free trade area agreement to be signed in March 2018
Free Trade Agreements, a poison for the Climate!
Fair Trade With Europe Should Depend On Quality African Exports 
Partnership on Geographical Indicators to boost rural development

November 2017
Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA): Ivory Coast unveils its strategy
Madagascar: tough negotiations for EPA
The EU28 dumping of cereals, dairy and meat to the ESA-4 in 2016
The treaty on transnational corporations and human rights enters “negotiation mode”

October 2017
Alarm bells as more developing countries become commodity-dependent
Nigeria: EU, Nigeria Collaborate to Upgrade Banned Exports
South Africa fails to exploit free trade agreement access to massive EU market
Kenya in last-ditch effort to persuade Tanzania to sign EPA

September 2017
East Africa: Uganda's ratification of the Tripartite Free Trade Area
Gambia to sign free trade deal with EU
SADC/EU Launch implementation of Trade projects
Colonialism's new clothes: The EU's Economic Partnership Agreements with Africa

July/August 2017
Non-agricultural market access negotiations at the WTO
South Africa’s EPA deal: Is the EU playing chicken?
The EU’s failure on policy commitments to support smallholder agriculture
Reconsider stand on EPA –EU envoy tells Nigeria


News and information from other sources

The Trade Gap (Ghana) YouTube

Grain, August 2017: Since 2002, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries have negotiated a reciprocal free trade agreement known as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). While it was marketed as the magic bullet towards the ACP countries’ industrialisation and development, it is in fact an unfair agreement that is anchored in a colonial framework. Read on

Africa subsidises the rest of the world by over $40 billion in one year (Honest Accounts 2017: How the world profits from Africa)
23.05.2017 New research published by Global Justice Now, Jubilee Debt Campaign et al.

CETA: EU and Canada agree on new approach on investment in trade agreement
29.02.2016: Press Release from the EU Trade Commission about the CETA trade agreement it is hoping to sign with Canada

TTIP February 2016 update
A briefing from ‘Global Justice Now’ on the latest news on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

The Catholic Church on Trade Agreements (Statement by Archbishop Tomasi to the UN, December 2014)