Ecuador is the latest country to tear up 'free trade' agreements that have so far cost the country $21 billion in damages awarded to foreign companies by 'corporate courts', and yielded next to nothing in return, writes Nick Dearden. So the outgoing President Correa did the only sensible thing: in one of his final executive acts this month, he scrapped 16 toxic trade and investment treaties.
A bill to quadruple the UK's aid funding to a profit-driven 'private equity' company owned by the government comes before MPs today for its third reading, writes Global Justice Now. Trouble is the investments do little or nothing for the poor, and instead entrench corporate power in health, education and infrastructure. Parliament should seize this last chance to reject the new law.
It's now clear what place government ministers and senior officials want for the UK in a post-Brexit world, writes Mark Curtis - and it's not pretty! A new era of corporate 'free trade' colonialism looms, spearheaded by aid spending, with ramped-up arms exports to the world's most corrupt and repressive regimes, all backed up by military force to project the Britain's global financial interests.
This morning (28 October) in London, protesters dressed as Hallowe'en Zombies posed outside the European Commission office in London with a banner saying "Stop CETA rising from the dead - Toxic trade deals belong in the grave."
Gigantic global corporations are seizing ever more power, writes Aisha Dodwell, as they reshape the world to serve their quest for profit: corrupting politicians, subverting governments, and breaking international law on labour, environment and human rights with impunity. We need a new UN Treaty to force corporations to act within international law - wherever they may be.
Maude Barlow, Chair of the Council for Canadians, has dedicated her life to fighting injustice, and so-called 'free trade' deals in particular. In this interview with Nick Dearden, Maude explained how CETA, the Canada-EU trade and investment agreement, is every bit as dangerous as TTIP, but has somehow escaped the same level of media and campaign focus - and what we can do about it.
As the twelfth round of negotiations over the EU-US TTIP mega-trade deal begins in Brussels today, the chances of a treaty being concluded are looking weaker than ever, writes Guy Taylor. Time is running out, complex legal issues are crowding in, and most important of all, public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic is turning against the massive 'bill of corporate rights' that TTIP represents.
The 'New Alliance', backed by £600m of UK aid, is meant to improve food security, reduce malnutrition and lift people out of poverty, writes Aisha Dodwell. But it's all a huge con - delivering corporate welfare, attacking small farmers, enabling land grabs - and leaving a trail of poverty and human devastation. It draws praise from only a single review of its activities: its own.
Overtaken by massive regional trade agreements like TPP, TTIP, CETA and TINA, the World Trade Organisation has slipped into the background, writes Polly Jones. But this week it's back with a vengeance, with its first big meeting in two years. The US's plan is to globalise the investment protection regime set out in the TTP, and open a new era of corporate rule and the eradication of democracy.
COP21 is overwhelming, writes Kevin Smith at the end of the Summit's first week. It's huge, its complicated, everyone is running around in a constant frenzy, NGOs are squeezed out of key meetings, and all but the biggest countries struggle to keep up with the action. But still, negotiations are progressing. And amid the chaos, some truly wonderful, surprising, inspiring things are happening.
There is a sad irony in the security clampdown on the climate 'mobilisations' planned for COP21 in Paris, writes Nick Dearden. Because those affected are the very people who are most commited to building a green, just, peaceful world free of the chaos and disruption that climate change is bringing.
There's been a big fuss about the 'ISDS' clauses in the TTIP trade deal that would allow US corporations to sue the EU and its member states for 'lost profits', writes Maude Barlow. But ISDS is already in CETA, the already negotiated EU-Canada trade deal - and nothing would be easier than for US companies to use it as their 'back door'. We must make sure CETA is rejected at its final hurdle.
The 'regulatory cooperation' clauses in TTIP threaten to strip away vital EU protections on food, health and environment, writes Alex Scrivener. Indeed it has already begun: the mere prospect of TTIP has persuaded the EU to back off on plans to ban lactic acid-treated beef and 31 toxic pesticides. We must reject the entire package!
The Sustainable Development Goals are a wish list that few could disagree with, writes Nick Dearden. But the delivery plan is to rely on 'free' markets, corporations and technocratic government - although these 'solutions' are at the root of the problems the SDGs aim to solve.
If you're expecting COP21 in Paris to save the world's climate you're in for a disappointment, writes Alex Scrivener. For governments, climate is secondary to the really big issues - like endless economic growth and ever-increasing corporate profit. But there's still plenty campaigners can do to shame politicians, businesses and investors into meaningful action.
Thanks to TTIP the corporate drive for free trade is once more facing critical public scrutiny, writes Alex Scrivener. But in the rush to oppose TTIP we mustn't lose sight of the context in which the deal is being negotiated - the hundreds of bilateral treaties that give corporations the right to sue in secret 'trade courts'.
The failure of the UK's privatized electricity oligopoly - expensive, uncompetitive and slow to adopt renewable technologies - is being repeated across the global south, writes Christine Haigh: over £100 million of UK 'aid' is supporting energy privatization in the very countries that can least afford it.
Peter Mandelson is 'intensely relaxed' about growing inequality, but he shouldn't be. It's the result of a 'trickle up' economy which perpetuates and fosters injustice, violence and ill health, writes Global Justice Now, and corrodes democratic societies at their very foundations.