US Congress "takes on" Globalization: William Greider argues in his recent Nation Magazine article "A Globalization Offensive" (here's the free version) that: "Thanks to the aggressive spirit of many newly elected Democrats, this Congress offers an encouraging opening for opponents of corporate-led globalization to go on offense. For decades, the critics of the global system have been pinned down by multinational business and finance and reduced to playing defense. Labor, environment and other reform advocates have mostly tried to block new trade agreements negotiated by Republican and Democratic Presidents. Their efforts usually have fallen short...This year could be different. In both the House and Senate, the growing nucleus of legislators who are skeptical of or downright hostile to globalization is strong enough to force debates on some reform ideas."
End of an Error?: Walden Bello's recent article "Globalization in Retreat?" looks at corporate-led globalization's dismal failures and why it is a "spent force". He writes" "When it first became part of the English vocabulary in the early 1990s, globalization was supposed to be the wave of the future...Fifteen years later, despite runaway shops and outsourcing, what passes for an international economy remains a collection of national economies. These economies are interdependent no doubt, but domestic factors still largely determine their dynamics. Globalization, in fact, has reached its high water mark and is receding."
Labor Rights and Trade: Susan Ariel Aaronson suggests in her article "Labor Rights Are Not Optional" that labor rights advocates should take a page from the "environmental chapters of several recent free trade agreements. In 2004, Democratic Senator Max Baucus pressed U.S. trade policymakers to strengthen public participation provisions and embed them in every future trade agreement...The Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) is the first trade agreement built on Baucus’ suggestions. It includes both a mechanism and secretariat that allows citizens from any one of the seven signatory nations to challenge enforcement of environmental laws. Moreover, the trade agreement requires policymakers to respond to these complaints...Each environment ministry developed a website on environmental activities and outreach. USTR has agreed to replicate this model in other free trade agreements with Colombia and Peru...But these citizen submission strategies should not be limited to the environmental chapters of free trade agreements. The U.S. government should adopt a similar approach in the labor chapters as well."
Global Labor Confernce: On Februrary 16th, 2007 the Cornell Global Labor Institute is hosting a program entitled "Transnational Labor Collaboration: New Initiatives, International Framework Agreements and Other Tools To Advance Organizing and Bargaining In the Americas." For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. It's being hosted in New York City at the Cornell ILR Conference Center and costs $150-175 per person depending on when you register.