Poverty and Trade : Factfile

There are 15 documents in this section.

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  • The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

    6 January 2008

    Set up in 1964, UNCTAD's initial brief was to help developingcountries to reverse their declining terms of trade and to link trade with development. In its early years, UNCTAD launched a number of ambitious programmes, the most significant being the Integrated Programme for Commodities (IPC) in 1976. This envisaged the negotiation of 18 specific commodity agreements that would give producers a fair return and consumers a guaranteed price. Western countries had no enthusiasm for the IPC and commodity agreements have since dwindled rather than increased.

  • Clothing sweatshops

    6 January 2008

    Sweatshops are used in developed and developing countries by some of the largest clothing companies, harming millions of workers. Campaigning organisations, trade unions and ethical business are shining a light on some of the worst excesses.

  • Poverty and hunger

    14 December 2007

    Some 1.1 billion people in Africa, Asia and Latin America are materially poor, with incomes of less than a dollar a day. Around 2.6 billion live on less than US$2 a day. Many of the poor are jobless, voiceless and powerless, either landless or have tiny plots, If they work in the informal economy they are often underemployed. Women and girls make up 70 per cent of their number. They are poorly educated and in poor health, their housing and shelter are meagre and they have few resources. Their life expectancy is short and declining in some countries.

  • Unequal trade

    14 December 2007

    World trade has grown 27-fold in volume terms since 1950, three times faster than world output growth... "but progress has been uneven and success limited in some areas." (source: World Trade Report, The GATT/WTO at 60, WTO December 2007.

  • Tariffs and quotas

    14 December 2007

    Developed countries often import raw materials from developing countries free of tariffs - a tax by the importing country on the product as it enters their market - or at a very low tariff. If the material is semi-manufactured it will normally attract a tariff. If fully manufactured then an even higher tariff will apply. Under quotas, only a certain volume of a product is allowed entry.

  • General Agreement in Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

    14 December 2007

    The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was the predecessor of the World Trade Organisation. Signed in 1947 between 23 countries, the GATT held a total of eight rounds negotiations) to reduce barriers to trade. Its eighth round, the Uruguay Round, ran from 1986 to 1993.

  • The World Trade Organisation (WTO)

    14 December 2007

    The rules of international trade are made at the Geneva-based WTO. This began in 1995 as the successor to the GATT and was an outcome of the Uruguay round of trade negotiations. The WTO is basically an expanded GATT with greater powers. In July 2007 the WTO had 151 member countries.

  • Agreement on Agriculture

    14 December 2007

    The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) is one of four agreements to emerge from the Uruguay Round of trade talks (1986 to 1993) which set up the WTO. The stated objective of the AoA is "to provide for substantive and progressive reductions in agricultural support and protection", in order to reduce distortions in world agricultural markets. The agreement is basically a pact between the US and the EU and serves their interests; developing countries had minimal input. It covers market access, export subsidies, and domestic support for agriculture; non-trade concerns, including food security, are mentioned in the preamble.

  • Structural adjustment

    14 December 2007

    Structural adjustment programmes were introduced by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the early 1980s, when many developing countries were in deep recession, caused partly by international factors outside their control. Countries had to implement SAPs if they wanted aid, debt relief and investment. Over 80 developing countries have implemented these programmes.

  • Trade and the environment: Latin America

    14 December 2007

    Trade policies in Latin America, to encourage the export of fruit and vegetables have led to severe environmental problems in a number of the exporting countries. The international market demands produce with no blemishes and farmers feel they have to use large amounts of pesticide - far more than is used on most traditional crops. Encouraged to grow vegetables and fruit for export, farmers regard pesticides as the way to guarantee that their produce arrives in top-notch condition.

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