Free Trade Agreements
Globalization: A Threat to Animals & The Environment
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Peru Free Trade Agreement should not be supported
Consumption of factory farmed animal products will
vastly increase. Currently, roughly half of the animal products consumed by
Peruvians are produced on rural family farms, grown as
a sideline by farmers whose primary business is growing corn and rise.
Import tarriffs on US produced crops and animal
products keep prices on US commodities high in Peru, encouraging Peruvians to buy
the locally-created products. Peru's family farms use traditional agricultural
methods, as opposed to the intensive-confinement factory farms that dominate US agriculture.
However, the Peru Free Trade Agreement will eliminate Peru's tarriffs on US imports. Thanks to the lower
production cost associated with factory farming of animals and US-style
industrial crop growing in tandem with US government subsidies for
agribusiness, US imports in Peru
will be far cheaper than locally produced foods. This will drive Peru's family farmers out of business, and with
no one left producing family farmed meat products, consumption will shift to
cheap, factory farmed US
commodities. While Global Justice for Animals encourages consumers
everywhere to shift to an animal-free diet and does not in any way endorse the
concept of "humane meat", we also recognize that a shift towards
consumption of factory farmed products is BAD NEWS for
has a terrible record for environmental protection. Logging by by U.S.
companies (often done illegally), mining, and oil drilling have resulted in
habitat destruction in irreplaceable rainforests, the decline of wildlife
populations in Peru.
Mining has already polluted streams, killing fish and amphibians. Industrial
noise drives wildlife into unprotected areas to be hunted
by miners and wildlife traffickers. Oil companies like Occidental
Petroleum have devastated the Peruvian Amazon, polluting land
and water and poisoning wildlife and indigenous people. But
rather than fixing this problem, investor protection provisions in the
agreement will give corporations the right to sue the Peruvian government in
international tribunals for lost profits on investments if Peru enforces it's
domestic environmental laws. These investor rights can
also be applied to agreements made before the passage of the agreement,
which allow companies to challenge previous decisions to prohibit development
in protected areas.
- Substandard environmental provisions written into the agreement only
require the enforcement of preexisting environmental laws and the
protection of just a few token wildlife and plant species. This is of
little help when each species depends on an entire ecosystem for survival, and
most environmental organizations consider Peruvian and Panamanian laws
insufficient anyway. The Peru Free Trade Agreements state that proposed
changes must be voluntary, flexible and incentive-based.
The Peru Free Trade Agreement is considered even worse
than the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement, which the US
signed in July 2005, despite the opposition of over 100 animal
organizations. It has the power to forever destroy unique habitats and
endemic animal species in some of the most biologically diverse areas of the
world as well as expand the consumption of factory-farmed animals.