Magazine article New Internationalist

Africa Resists EU Bullying

Magazine article New Internationalist

Africa Resists EU Bullying

Article excerpt

A meeting of African civil society organizations and trade officials in Cape Town, South Africa, at the end of February called for continued and increased resistance to the introduction of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) - free trade agreements between the European Union (EU) and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Thirty-five countries have already signed interim EPAs which could be converted to full agreements by the end of the year. Though the EU claims they are 'an instrument for development", EPAs are causing widespread concern. Campaigners say that the EU's real aim is to get better access to African markets and that governments which agree to lower import tariffs on European goods will automatically lose revenue and risk increasing poverty within their country.

At present, 41 nations are refusing to sign, but with the EU threatening to impose higher tariffs on goods from non-signatory countries, they are under increasing pressure to comply or risk economic punishment. …

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