Fair trade, not free trade

We should promote fair, ecological and sustainable trade deals, claims MEP Jordi Sole

News / 31.7.17

Fundación Galiza Sempre and Centre Maurits Coppieters organised a one day seminar on the role of free trade agreements on today’s societies and how they impact our political institutions, economy and environment.

MEP Jordi Solé advocated for a “more responsible, fair and ecological trade” and for “trade policies that do not see trade as an end, but rather as a means to improve social progress and enhance social justice”.

Mr. Solé sees many problems in the current way international institutions negotiate those deals: “We need a more transparent and democratic trade policy,” so they can serve “everyone, not just big transnational corporations.”

Belgian politician Helen Ryckamns, member of the Walloon Parliament, insisted echoed the idea. According to her, current “trade deals lack transparency and democratic control” and “take power of decision out of the hands of the citizens who cannot decide on their preferred trade models and local development”. She believes that TTIP and other trade deals should be renegotiated from scratch in a transparent and democratic way to ensure social and gender equality, as well as sustainable development.

For Ana Pontón, spokesperson of BNG, free trade agreements cut labour and social rights and have a negative impact in many local economy sectors, like fisheries, agriculture and energy. For this reason, free trade agreements inevitably increase social inequality. For her, the key element to consider is how to recover the capacity to design and implement an economic model that can guarantee full employment and public welfare. She believes that we need a broad alliance to combat globalisation and demand greater democracy and sovereignty in order to build a more prosperous and just future for all.