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War On Terror, USA's Unfair Trade Pratices...

Published: Tue 27 May 2003 08:11 AM
Background On New Zealand Contribution To War On Terror, The United States' Record Of Unfair Trade Practices & America's Proposed Bilateral Trade Deals No Substitute For Doha Round
Progressive Leader Jim Anderton
· In September 2001, the United States was subject to an outrageous and evil terrorist attack that killed hundreds of innocent people. As Acting Prime Minister at the time, Jim Anderton signalled New Zealand's commitment to stand side by side with the United States to defeat international terrorism in what would need to be a multilateral approach involving all nations.
1. WHAT WE SAID
Jim Anderton in Parliament at the time said:
"New Zealand will stand with all other democratic countries to do whatever is necessary to prevent and remove threats to peace and the devastating scourge of terrorism."
2. WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING
New Zealand has several major force elements deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the international effort to defeat the Islamic fundamentalist fascist threat. We have also been very involved in the reconstruction of Iraq.
A RNZN frigate is in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Enduring Freedom Maritime Interdiction Operations until the end of next month. A RNZAF C-130 Orion is part of this operation to provide maritime surveillance support and a RNZAF C-130 Hercules aircraft is to undertake tactical air transport duties in and around Afghanistan for three months from late next month. We have had SAS personnel on the ground in Afghanistan.
New Zealand also has staff deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, with five staff attached to USCENTCOM in Florida, three in the Headquarters Coalition Task Force in Afghanistan and four officers attached to the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul.
To defeat the fundamentalist fascist challenge, it is critical that the framework for security and economic development are established ahead of the establishment of a fully representative government after elections due next year.
New Zealand's response to developments in Iraq have been governed by our country's long-standing commitment to the United Nations as the pre-eminent body to resolve international conflicts, the importance of international law as the best long-term guarantor of international security, a commitment to support the elimination of weapons of mass destruction as well as a long-standing commitment to address the humanitarian needs of the victims of conflict.
New Zealand moved very quickly after the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq to respond to the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people under existing United Nations mandates and international humanitarian law. The government early on provided financial assistance to the Red Cross, U.N. and international agencies in Iraq and made a commitment to assist the United Nations Mine Action Service in Iraq.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483 adopted on May 22 opened the way for the international community to engage fully in the reconstruction of Iraq. We are on the way to the establishment of a representative government in Iraq and New Zealand can be expected to play a significant role during the transition period.
3. WE HAVE BEEN COMMITTED TO THE WAR ON TERROR AND MAKING THE WORLD A SAFER
PLACE FOR OVER HALF A CENTURY
Is New Zealand's participation in efforts to combat the causes and effects of terrorism in the Middle East a recent or isolated phenomenon?
No. Since 1952, New Zealand has contributed to 33 separate UN peace-supporting operations.
1952-1976: UN force in India/Pakistan
1953-2003: UN force in Korea
1954-2003: UN force in Israel and neighbours
1956-1957: UN force in Sinai, Egypt
1958: UN force in Lebanon
1960-1961: UN force in Congo
1963: UN force in Yemen
1964-1957: UN force in Cyprus
1965-1966: New UN mission to India/Pakistan
1973: New UN force in Sinai
1974-2003: UN force in Golan Heights, Syria
1978-2003: UN force in southern Lebanon
1979-1980: Commonwealth force in Zimbabwe
1982-2003: U.S.-led force in Sinai, Egypt
1988-1991: UN force in Iran/Ira
q1989-1990: UN force in Namibia
1989-1991: UN mine clearance in Afghanistan/Pakistan
1990: NZ force in Bougainville
1991-2003: UN force to remove weapons of mass destruction in Ira
q1991-1992: UN force in Cambodia
1991-1997: UN force in Angola
1992-1993: UN force in Cambodia
1992-1993: UN force in Somalia
1992-1994: Expanded UN force in Somalia
1992-1996: UN force in Croatia, Macedonia & Bosnia
1993-1994: Further UN mission in Cambodia
1994: South Pacific Forum force in Bougainville
1994-1995: UN force in Haiti
1994-1995: UN force in Mozambique
1994-2003: NZ demining force in Cambodia
1995-1996: UN force in former Yugoslavia
1995-1996: U.S.-led force in Persian Gulf
1998-1999: U.S.-led force in Persian Gulf
1995-1999: UN force in Macedonia
1995-2003 NZ de-mining force in Mozambique
1996-1998: Nato-led force in Croatia
1996-2003: UN force in Slovenia
1996-1999: Nato-led force in Bosnia
1996-1999: UN force in former Yugoslavia
1997-1998: NZ force in Bougainville
1997-1999: NZ de-mining force in Angola
1997-1999: UN force in Angola
1997-2003: NZ de-mining force in Laos
1998: U.S.-led operation in the Persian Gulf
1998-1999: UN force in Sierra Leone
1998-2003: NZ support mission in Bougainville
1999: UN force in East Timor
1999-2003: UN force in Kosovo, Serbia
1999-2000: Australian-led force in East Timor
2000-2003: UN force in East Timor
4. WE BACK UP THE SACRIFICES OF OUR SOLDIERS WITH A FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION
FROM OUR TAXPAYERS
Does New Zealand financially back up its commitment to international order?
New Zealand's military commitment to East Timor since 1999 has been $193 million. That doesn't include Overseas Development Assistance to East Timor ? it only includes military assistance. That is roughly equivalent to about two years of the government's spending on regional and economic development in our own country ? that shows you how serious New Zealand is about its international commitments.
In per capita terms, New Zealand has always contributed more of its military personnel at the service of the multilateral effort to tackle the causes and effects of terrorism and international disorder than most other nations, including the United States.
At times since September 11, 2001, New Zealand has had a significantly bigger contribution than the United States, a nation of 280 million people.
At April 30, 2002, for example, New Zealand had 670 people in UN operations (none were police); At that time, the United States had 712 people in UN operations of which 677 were policemen.
5. THE UNITED STATES' RECORD ON FAIR TRADE IS VERY POOR. THE PUNITIVE
BARRIERS IMPOSED ON OUR FARM EXPORTS TO AMERICAN CONSUMERS ARE SIGNIFICANT
The United States, like the European Union and Japan, talks about lowering barriers to international trade but the rhetoric doesn't match reality for agriculture ? a critical area of importance if we are serious about making the world a safer place by eradicating poverty because developing countries' key competitive advantage is in food-producing.
President Bush signed the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 on May 13, 2002. The US$248.6 billion Act increases taxpayer subsidies on agriculture by more than 80 percent over the 1996 farm bill, the Freedom to Farm Act, which made a tentative attempt to wean farmers from the system of price supports and commodity payments, as the U.S. was bound to do under its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.
While the theme six years earlier had been freedom, the new farm Act forces American taxpayers to cough up at least US$190 billion over the next 10 years, about US$83 billion more than under previous programmes.
The new law is complex and focused mainly on eight "programme" crops (cotton, wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, barley, oats, and sorghum).
Overall, the new law fails not only all food exporting countries but also fails U.S. family farmers, consumers, taxpayers, and environment.
The 2002 farm law can be best described as agribusiness welfare. The federal crop subsidies will go not to family farmers, but to wealthy American corporations like Westvaco (a paper products conglomerate), Chevron, and the John Hancock Insurance Company.
According to one estimate, the U.S. exports corn at prices 20 per cent below the cost of production and wheat at 46 per cent below cost. This puts Third World corn farmers out of business. Even U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick, has acknowledged that the United States' practices "deserve the criticism" that they have received.
6. BILATERAL TRADE DEALS ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR FAIR MULTILATERAL
RULES-BASED AGREEMENTS
Bilateral deals are no substitute for multilateral action.
Mike Moore, when he was head of the World Trade Organization, articulated it well, in a speech two years ago.
"Regional or bilateral trade agreements are no substitute. Very often they leave agriculture out as 'too hard'. And in any case they can't provide a consistent framework of enforceable rules and disciplines on subsidies or access across the board. Only the WTO system can do this."
According to a United States Democratic Party website, the Progressive Policy Institute, the United States has a number of regional and bilateral trade initiatives either underway or planned for 2003-2005.
These include 70-90 countries in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia; one in the Middle East
U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement,
U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement,
U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement,
U.S.-Southern Africa Customs Union Free Trade Agreement,
U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement,
U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement,
African Growth and Opportunity Act renewal,
Enterprise for ASEAN Initiative
Major regions left out are the Western Muslim world and the least-developed parts of Asia.
The U.S. Progressive Policy Institute argues that American trade policy may, in coming years, find itself unintentionally at odds with the war on terror.
Since 1980, the western Muslim world ? about 32 countries from Morocco to Central Asia and Bangladesh -- has seen its share of world trade drop from 10 percent to 3.8 percent, and investment fall even more sharply. At the same time, its population has grown from 380 million to over 600 million, with most of this growth in cities.
The combination is creating a large pool of unemployed urban young people - the type of person most susceptible to political extremist groups and religious fundamentalists.
The view of the New Zealand Progressive Party is that America should instead turn its attention to fair multilateral rules via the World Trade Organization that don't leave any countries behind.

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