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Global Trade Watch E-Newsletter #57 - March 2009

Contents:

1) News from Global Trade Watch
2) Upcoming Events
4) Take Action!

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1) NEWS FROM GLOBAL TRADE WATCH

* Understanding Globalisation: A Short Course, April 14 - June 15, 2009 MELBOURNE - Applications Open!

After some delays and re-jigging of the dates (apologies!), we can now announce that applications are open for Understanding Globalisation - our exciting short course for people interested to learn more about globalisation, global economics and their impacts on people and the environment.

Understanding Globalisation is a 10-week course which examines the agreements, institutions and philosophies of the global economic system in an approachable, easy-to-follow way. Taking an Australian and global perspective, Understanding Globalisation brings together Australian and international experts in politics, economics and development to support participants in exploring the complexities of globalisation.

Through lectures, workshops and other activities, the course examines the relationships between the global economy and the current global financial, food and climate crises and equips participants to track future developments in globalisation and the global economic system.

The course will run in Melbourne (Carlton) on Monday evenings from April 14 to June 15 2009.

For more information, download an information booklet and application form here or apply online now.

Please email us if you have any questions about the course.


* Recent Posts at our Rethinking Globalisation Blog - http://www.tradewatch.org.au/blog

Not much free about this “free” trade agreement
I guess I should write a bit about the Australia-ASEAN-NZ Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which was signed over the weekend in Thailand - it’s Australia’s biggest regional FTA to date. More...

Obama’s Latest Free Trader
John Nichols reports today on his blog at thenation.com that Obama’s latest pick for Secretary of Commerce – former Washington Governor Gary Locke – is a committed free-trader. More...

Sydney Event: “Economics for Ordinary Folk” - March 28
A plug for friendly Sydney-based NGOs AFTINET and AID/WATCH, which are co-hosting “Economics for Ordinary Folk”, a 1 day workshop aimed at skilling-up participants on economics and the impact of orthodox economic theories on the peoples of the world. More...

Food for the future
Well worth a look (or a listen, if you download the podcast) is ABC’s Background Briefing from last week - entitled “Food for the Future”. Global Trade Watch contributed some statistics and opinions to the program. More...

The most amazing statistics on Development you’ve ever seen….
Two absolutely fantastic short talks from Hans Rosling, A professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. More...

WTO: The round that “no one knows how to end”
For those interested in what is going on at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) while the financial crisis is hogging all the headline space in the business pages, the answer is: not a lot. More...

Why is Australia still importing illegally-logged timber?
Yesterday’s edition of Melbourne’s The Age newspaper had a worrying article about the influence of extreme pro-free-trade bureaucrats in derailing new laws aimed at restricting illegal timber imports into Australia. More...

Australia-US FTA still a drain on Australia’s economy
Martin Feil kicks another goal in The Age today with an excellent article assessing the economic impact of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) four years after it took affect on 1 January 2005. More...

Wrap-Up from the World Social Forum
The World Social Forum finished up in Belem, Brazil last week. If you don’t know much about it, the WSF was started in January 2001 as a stark alternative and counterpoint to the World Economic Forum. More...

Ideas for the G20’s agenda on the Global Economic Crisis
In April, the leaders of the G20 group of countries will meet again in London to discuss responses to the global economic/financial crisis which is still unravelling. Dani Rodrik’s Blog links to an interesting new initiative: the Global Crisis Debate - a partnership between the VoxEU website and the UK government aimed at generating ideas for the April 2 summit of the G20. More...

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3) UPCOMING EVENTS

MELBOURNE

April 14 to June 15 2009, Monday Evenings – Understanding Globalisation: A Short Course about Global Crisis & Global Justice

Understanding Globalisation is a 10-week course which examines the agreements, institutions and philosophies of the global economic system in an approachable, easy-to-follow way. Taking an Australian and global perspective, Understanding Globalisation brings together 15 Australian and international experts in politics, economics and development to support participants in exploring the complexities of globalisation. In 2009, Understanding Globalisation will run in Melboure on Monday evenings from April to June.

For more information, download an information booklet and application form here or apply online now.

Please email us if you have any questions about the course.

SYDNEY

* 28th March 10am - 4pm - Workshop: Economics for Ordinary Folk

AFTINET and AID/WATCH are co-hosting this 1 day workshop aimed at skilling-up participants on economics and the impact of orthodox economic theories on the peoples of the world, particularly the majority world. It’s aimed at people who are concerned about issues of social justice and want to gain a better understanding of economics. Participants would ideally include students, activists, NGO workers and community members.

Speakers include: Professor Frank Stilwell (University of Sydney-Political Economy), Professor Jane Kelsey (University of Auckland - Law/Trade/Globalisation) & others. WHERE: Amnesty International, Level 1, 79 Myrtle St, Chippendale. Cost: $15 (student/concession) $25 (waged) $40 (passionate) - Some fee waivers available. Tea and coffee will be provided. BYO lunch.

To confirm your place, contact [email protected] or [email protected] by Monday 16 March.

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4) TAKE ACTION!

* Stop imports of illegally-logged timber!

According to reports in The Age newspaper, the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are trying to undermine the Rudd Government’s election promises to require “disclosure at point-of-sale of species, country of origin and any certification” and “identifying illegally-logged timber and restrict its import into Australia”.

According to The Age, "Those public servants advocating for what has been called "the radical free-trade policy" are now pushing for more voluntary measures, such as those favoured by the Howard government."

If you think Australia shouldn't be contributing to deforestation by importing illegally-logged timber, please send a short email RIGHT NOW to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and demanding that they commit to fulfilling their election promise to end imports of illegally logged timber into Australia by establishing a MANDATORY scheme.

Email the PM here.

Email the Foreign Minister at: [email protected]


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