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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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No Trade Justice For Poor Countries Under Labour -- Brake

April 20, 2005 11:55 AM

Saturday 16th April saw the spectacular end to the Trade Justice Movement's Global Week of Action with an overnight vigil in Whitehall. Organisers estimate that at least 15,000 people gathered for the vigil 'Wake up to Trade Justice' which lasted from Friday 10pm to Saturday 8am, lighting candles, attending workshops and enjoying performances by singers and comedians.

The Global Week of Action was held in 80 countries across the world and focused on delivering trade justice to poor countries - not free trade.

Tom Brake said,

"International trade should be fair and sustainable. As the former Labour Secretary for Trade and Industry, Stephen Byers said, "I was wrong: free market trade policies hurt the poor…the rules of international trade are rigged against the poorest countries".

It is therefore unfortunate that this Government continues to harm poor countries by allowing UK companies to dump their agricultural products in these countries, by pushing for privatization of public sector enterprises such as water suppliers. They also lead the way within the EU in promoting so-called Economic Partnership Agreements, free-trade agreements which, if implemented, could be harmful to African and Caribbean countries.

The Liberal Democrats would remove subsidies and tariff barriers and we would end the dumping of agricultural exports. We would also make sure that agreements to liberalise new sectors would proceed on a genuinely voluntary basis."

ENDS