[GRRN] Fw: Activists use Internet to slow trade liberalization

Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Fri, 11 Dec 1998 08:06:11 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Margrete Strand-Rangnes <mstrand@citizen.org>
To: Multiple recipients of list MAI-NOT <mai-not@essential.org>
Date: Thursday, December 10, 1998 5:30 PM
Subject: (mai) Katz: Activists use Internet to slow trade liberalization

Katz: Activists use Internet to slow trade liberalization

US business leader sees free-trade threat


NEW YORK -- Increasingly mobilized by the Internet, labor and environmental
activists are a growing threat to free trade
and an open global economy, a business leader said Tuesday.

Abraham Katz, outgoing president of the U.S. Council for International
Business, gave the keynote speech at the organization's
annual dinner on Tuesday.

"The enemies of an open market system have marshalled a serious
counterattack on further liberalization of trade and
investment and on multinational companies as the main agents of
globalization," said Mr. Katz, who joined the council after a
long career with the State Department.

Officials of the business group have been alarmed about what they see as
growing threats to business, often spurred by the
Internet. For instance, recent charges that Nike Inc. mistreats its workers
in southeast Asia were largely spread across the
electronic medium.

Organized labor and environmental groups are pushing for unilateral
sanctions against offending countries and companies, Mr.
Katz said.

Another initiative of the business group that Internet-mobilized activists
have derailed is the Multilateral Agreement on
Investment. That would standardize rules so that each country would have to
treat outside investors the same way. It would
protect investors from government interference such as arbitrary seizure of

Opponents say it would give multinational corporations unprecedented power
to challenge governments' consumer, labor and
environmental laws.

Public Citizen Global Trade Watch
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