Free/Fair Trade

A Strategy to Create New Beneficiaries from World Trade

David Barkin
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, México

International trade is a discriminatory process, accentuating polarization within and among nations. After examining the way in which integration in the Americas heightens these problems, this paper describes an alternative framework for the productive incorporation of significant groups of communities into the global economy. The strategy for sustainable regional resource management explicitly aims to overcome rural marginalization, contributing to reduce the force of the underlying drivers of social conflict. The strategy generally includes activities to strengthen three fundamental pillars: autonomy, self-sufficiency and productive diversification. Among the activities included in such strategies are: ecosystem management, increased regional production of basic necessities, and productive diversification, creating opportunities for participation in international trade under more advantageous terms.

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Gender and Free Trade: Peruvian Alternative Trade Organizations and Women’s Projects

Jane Henrici
University of Memphis
Trade policies affect alternative trade organizations (ATOs), including those that work with
Peruvian women’s projects to assist their traditional and poorer communities. Over the last 30 years, Peru has been increasingly a signatory of regional free trade agreements. New agreements would indicate that the amounts charged on small-scale products to leave or enter Peru are affected, and labor and entrepreneurial conditions for women also altered. Such processes would not be unique to Peru and in fact increasingly occur in numerous regions and nations as a number of researchers and activists assert; meanwhile, the phenomena of free trade agreement effects are relatively recent, yet seem to exacerbate and continue long-standing relations among those involved and connect to both local as well as larger gendered and racialized inequities. Following from earlier research, I have initiated a study of responses among ATO members and workers within Lima and the Southern Highlands to changes in the trade regulations, with an interest in how new policies and laws might impact projects seeking to help low-income women and their families in Peru. This paper briefly introduces that research and concentrates at this stage of the study on connections to work conducted elsewhere.
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