July, 2006 | Food & Water Watch - Part 2
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Blog Posts: July 2006

July 5th, 2006

WTO Negotiators Get Bored and Leave

This past Friday, trade negotiators from around the world hung out at a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Geneva, waiting for U.S. trade representative Susan Schwab to offer to reduce U.S. farm subsidies. Schwab never made such an offer, so everybody packed up and went home. This stalemate jeopardizes current plans to update the WTO agreements, spelling trouble for the future of this ‚one-size-fits-all” global trade agreement.

Declaring the stalemate a ‚crisis,” WTO director-general (sounds like a title fit for Napoleon) Pascal Lamy announced that he would take it upon himself to visit various developed countries, to take on the trade representatives one-on-one in order to squeeze some sort of deal out of them. Lamy faces a tough road convincing others, though. Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath left the talks early and arrived significantly late to a June 30th meeting, and was apparently delayed by watching the Argentina-Germany World Cup match. (Who could blame him, really?) Only time will tell whether Lamy could turn into the author of the updated global trade laws- perhaps if it he had the backing of a few key soccer players, that pesky subsidy issue would just go away…

Felton FLOW scores another victory

Last Monday the small town of Felton, CA moved one step closer to reclaiming its water system from California American Water, a subsidiary of the German conglomerate RWE. After hearing testimony from Felton residents and Cal Am‚ attorney, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) sided with the people and voted unanimously to annex Felton’s water system to the neighboring San Lorenzo Valley Water district. The annexation paves the way for an appraisal of the water system and the eventual purchase of the system from Cal Am.

After Cal-Am proposed raising Felton‚ water rates by 74% in 2002, Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water (FLOW) formed with the goal of restoring local control by purchasing their water system. Through hard work, good organization, and unwavering dedication, FLOW has moved closer to ousting a global water profiteer and ensuring local folks have a say in managing their water.

Read more here.

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