Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Courtesy of ZNet, here is an article from Mary Lou Malig of Focus on the Global South:

WAR: TRADE BY OTHER MEANS: How the US is getting a free trade agreement minus the negotiations

EXCERPT: Before it handed over “sovereignty” to Iraq, the US has done the humanitarian task of installing peace and order. This they did by issuing orders--called the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Orders or Bremer Orders for short. These orders covered almost everything from de-Baathification of Iraqi society to weapons control to management and use of Iraqi public property to new Iraqi Dinar banknotes. The CPA was impressively efficient in issuing orders compared to the haphazard way they have been repairing basic infrastructure in the country.

A rather harmless looking CPA order number 39 on Foreign Investment was issued as part of this laundry list last September 19, 2003. Not more than six pages long, it disguises its true weight, for it carries with it the same impact of a 100-page free trade agreement and covers all essential elements of an investment agreement that usually take years for countries to agree upon.

In one swift move, the US installed a market economy geared towards “promoting foreign investment through the protection of the rights and property of foreign investors in Iraq.” These investor rights are not new. In fact its similarity to other investment agreements is a little too uncanny to be coincidental.

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