Thursday, 16 June 2016

African trade unionists 'slam' EU

African trade unionists slam ‘colonial’ EU free trade deal
Leave EU campaigners yesterday backed a call from African trade unionists to reject the latest attempt by the European Commission to impose a free trade deal as a ‘colonialist scramble’ for the continent.
ITUC – Africa general secretary Kwasi Adu-Amankwah said that the proposed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) would allow the continued exploitation of the continent by European big business.
He said that the colonial economic structure set-up to export raw materials and import manufactures remained and called on Africa to reject “the latest scramble” by European powers.
“Structural Adjustment foisted on Africa with the active involvement of the European Union has killed off the little industrial capabilities countries mastered immediately after independence,” he said.
He warned that the terms of the agreements would only make it harder for Africa to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said that the alleged market access offered under this and previous trade agreements were “contrived”.
“As the tariffs came down on African raw materials, they went up for manufactures.
“It is highly disingenuous to conceive of a free trade between the poorest continent on earth and the world’s most powerful trading bloc as the solution,” he said.
Trade Unionists Against the EU spokesman Brian Denny said that the continuing imperialist behaviour and attitude towards the third world exposed the moral bankruptcy at the heart of the EU.
“The Common Agricultural Policy, which eats up half the EU budget, has destroyed Africa’s ability to feed itself by dumping heavily-subsidised food onto some of the most fragile economies in the world.
“These EPA’s are designed to open up the markets of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries for EU exports, exposing third world producers to overwhelming competition from the world’s most powerful and rapacious transnationals,” he said.
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Published by Trade Unionists Against the EU, PO Box 71625 London E17 0RJ

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