Free Trade Agreements and the Food on our Tables
Report by Yasuaki Yamaura
Consumers Union of Japan/Food Action 21
The purpose of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) is to lower tariffs and reduce other barriers for products traded between two countries. Since 2002, Japan has concluded FTAs with Singapore, Mexico and Malaysia, and is also currently in the process of negotiating deals with South Korea, India and Australia.
I participated in two meetings sponsored by NGOs and experts that oppose FTA negotiations in Sydney, Australia, in parallel with the APEC Summit in September, 2007. People from different backgrounds in the Asia-Pacific region voiced their opinions and shared experiences of how their countries are dealing with trade liberalization, investment rules, intellectual property rights and other topics. I was also invited to give a talk about the problems related to agriculture and food systems.
(Read the entire report in the pdf document)