Sir George to receive petitions on Justice in Trade
20 Jun 2003
Sir George will meet constituents next weekend who are campaigning to tackle world poverty.

Sir George Young will be in Andover, Overton and Whitchurch to support the campaign for international trade rules to be reformed to give poor countries a fair deal.

“Trade is now the most important factor in the fight against poverty in the developing world, but the way today’s international trade rules are implemented is often unfair on poor countries. Western agricultural subsidies, which no longer even help our farmers, are also hugely damaging the livelihoods of people in poor countries, making them unable to compete on a level playing field. It is essential that the Government acts to radically reform the Common Agricultural Policy. The Government is failing on the commitments they have made to reform trade rules and are therefore risk failing the poor in the developing world. I am grateful to the many constituents who join me in urging the Government to sit up and listen.”

Sir George will be in Bridge Street Andover at 11am on Saturday, June 28th. At 11.30 he will be at the Methodist Church in Overton; and at 12 he will be at Whitchurch Town Hall. At each location, he will receive a petition.

"In addition to those I am meeting over the weekend, hundreds of others have written to me. This is extremely important to many people in the constituency and I congratulate the Trade Justice Movement on raising these issues again with politicians and the public. I share the concern of the Trade Justice Movement about the plight of the poorest people in the world, and congratulate them on bringing it to the attention of the public; a billion people live on less than a dollar a day and life expectancy in many African countries is declining. 30 million people in Africa have HIV/AIDS and rising levels of international trade and trade liberalisation offer the best hope of alleviating poverty in the developing world. The Government should do more to promote trade liberalisation, to reform agricultural subsidies and to phase out European trade barriers.

Trade is now the most important factor in the fight against poverty in the developing world. We are campaigning for a fair deal on trade for poor countries. By reforming trade rules and removing trade barriers, countries will be in a better position to help themselves in the long-term.

Along with other MP's, I am pressing the Government to radically reform the Common Agriculture Policy. Agricultural subsidies are damaging the livelihoods of people in the developing countries. OECD countries’ support for their farmers is equivalent to the whole of Africa’s GDP.

We are also keeping the pressure on the Government to fulfil the bold commitments they made in Doha at the last Trade Rounds in November 2001. In September, the next big meeting of the World Trade Organisation is due to take place in Cancun, Mexico. We will urge the Government be pro-active for a free and fair trade policy.

Many people fear that developing countries lack sufficient representation at world trade negotiations and so have failed to gain from the rapid expansion of world trade in recent years. Recently, Shadow Chancellor Michael Howard, and Shadow International Development Secretary, Caroline Spelman, announced that a Conservative Government would help to create an Advocacy Fund for developing countries to use to provide themselves with high quality legal and other advice on trade issues.

I do not share all the policies of the Trade Justice Movement, but I strongly support their work in bringing the injustice of the present global trading system to greater public attention.

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Copyright Sir George Young Bt. 2015