[DEBATE] : EU Urges sigining trade deal
Riaz K. Tayob
riazt at iafrica.com
Fri Sep 28 23:12:18 BST 2007
EU urges signing of trade deals
EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson has warned former European
colonies that they could miss out if they do not sign up to new trade deals.
The EU is engaged in a round of talks with former colonies across
Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).
Protesters are opposing the proposed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA).
However, Mr Mandelson said a failure to sign up meant those who relied
on exports of goods such as bananas and fish faced a risk to their
Campaigners say that the planned deals would damage some of the world's
poorest countries, opening their markets to unfair competition from Europe.
They were due to hold protests outside the European Commission on Thursday.
In an open letter, Mr Mandelson said that campaigners were "playing
poker" with people's livelihoods.
Urging the deals to be signed, he said "we cannot avoid the inevitable".
He said that unless the arrangements were in place by January, the EU
would impose less generous tariffs on key exports from the ACP nations.
Analysts believe that only the Caribbean countries are likely to sign a
deal by the end of October.
They say that unless a compromise is reached, there will be uncertainty
for those in Africa and the Pacific who depend on Europe for exports.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/09/27 09:38:30 GMT
© BBC MMVII
More information about the Debate-list