Free Trade agreement with North America. Free Trade Agreement with Jordan. Free Trade Agreement with Chilé…. seems like everday they’re negociating a new one. After awhile one has to wonder, what’s the point? It’s not like it’s special anymore. And even the results are questionable; with some countries reporting improved economies, but they also report high prices, increased poverty, etc etc. There’s no solid conclusion that can be drawn about free trade, for every good side it seems there is a bad side.
But nevermind my own musings about FreeTrade, let’s look at Thailand, where thousands upon thousands have been on the streets this week to say “we don’t want your free trade” while US and Thai officials negociate what is supposed to be a lovely free trade agreement. I’ve been reading the list of reasons that people are opposing this deal:: The dominance of expensive American perscription drugs, US managed deregulation of utilities, and of course the impact of cheap farm products driving Thai farmers out of business.
When you consider the importance and prevelance of farming as a way of life for a nation such as Thailand. And then consider the 600,000 people living with AIDS and dependant on affordable medicine, it is no wonder they’re out there protesting, asking the often overlooked question, Free Trade for Who?
PS– Im working on a show about engaging what some call terrorist groups in the political process. I’ll be discussing the history and present situation of three in particular: Sinn Fein, Batasuna, and Hamas. If you’ve got any unique insight on these or other groups, get in touch.