SUNS #4614 Friday 25 February 2000
south-north development monitor SUNS [Email Edition]
Trade: Appellate body rules against US FSC (Chakravarthi Raghavan, Geneva)
Development: Indigenous community bans TNC researchers (Someshwar Singh, Geneva)
Trade: Environmental protection runs up against free trade (IPS, Mexico City)
Finance: NGOs protest inaction by export credit agencies (IPS, Washington)
Trade: Cocoa producers threatened by new EU proposal (IPS, Brussels)
Indonesia: Illegal loggers now bolder, activists say (IPS, Jakarta)
Chile: Attacks on logging firms self-inflicted, say guards (IPS, Santiago)
Cuba: In search of partners to develop fisheries (IPS, Havana)
TRADE: APPELLATE BODY RULES AGAINST US FSC
Geneva, 24 Feb (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- The Appellate body of the World Trade Organization handed down a ruling Thursday that the US Foreign Service Corporations Law provides prohibited export subsidies to US corporations that violate the Subsidies and Countervailing Duties Agreement and the Agreement on Agriculture.
The tax treatment and exemptions under the FSC law to the corporations based on export performance was a prohibited subsidy and also violated the US commitments under the Agreement on Agriculture, the appellate body ruled.
The original panel ruling, handed down in October 1999, gave the US time till 1 October 2000 to bring its laws into compliance with the WTO obligations. That ruling, not appealed by either side, is not changed.
DEVELOPMENT: INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY BANS TNC RESEARCHERS
Geneva, Feb 24 (Someshwar Singh) -- In the Amazon jungles between Brazil and Guyana, the long-separated chiefs of the Wapishana indigenous community are to gather soon. Their aim - to challenge patents which have usurped their ancestral knowledge and practice.
For now, they have banned visits by just anyone masquerading as a "researcher" to their villages.
The patents, of considerable monetary value to the pharmaceutical industry, have been registered in the United States and Europe.
The Wapishana community is furious with a British chemist, Conrad Gorinsky, in whom they confided some of their ancestral secrets of plants with healing powers. Now, they are convinced Gorinsky has betrayed them.