Protesters denounce Canada-Honduras free trade deal


petros
#1
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted Friday that Canada's new free trade deal with Honduras will help that crime-ridden country emerge from poverty and political chaos, adding that his opponents are just "selfish" trade protectionists.

But within minutes of Harper making that claim at a signing ceremony with his Honduran counterpart, protesters who were kept outside the gates of the event were offering a different story.

They complained the trade deal will further diminish the rights of local workers and add to the profits of Canadian businesses that already operate textile factories and mining operations in this country with "impunity."

Harper wrapped up his tour of Latin America by announcing the trade deal with Honduras, an impoverished nation where violence is common and the leftist president was deposed by a coup just two years ago.

Harper made the announcement after meeting with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo.

He said the trade deal is a "key part" of the Conservative government's agenda to open new markets for Canadian businesses. He also added that it would be good for Hondurans, denying a suggestion that his government only wants to ensure Canadian companies can operate in countries with lax labor standards.

"Trade does, of course, raise people from poverty. People who favor protectionism are not, as I've said before, driven by concerns about poverty or human rights. They are driven by a desire to protect local interests. Protectionists are selfish and short-sighted in their perspectives."

Harper said enhanced international trade is one of the best ways to bring a populace out of poverty and reduce human rights violations.

"We strongly believe that prosperity, general and widespread, is essential to any nation's full enjoyment of peace, freedom and democracy. And if prosperity is the key to these great objectives, so is trade the key to prosperity."

Harper paid tribute to the current Honduras president, who he said is working hard to reverse years of human rights violations that have marred the country.

"We are certainly going to be a partner with him in moving forward from the dark days of the past toward a better future."

However, critics have said the Harper government is moving too quickly to provide credibility to the current right-wing Honduran regime at a time when the country is still suffering human-rights abuses, poor treatment of underpaid workers and a high crime rate.

Karen Spring, a Canadian with the organization Rights Action, protested Friday along with local workers who complained they are under-paid and toil in unhealthy workplaces owned by foreign companies, including those from Canada.

"It's horrible for the communities because there are many who are very sick from the chemicals used," she told reporters, as she peeked in through iron gates into the compound where Harper was.

Large companies in this country ignore laws and operate "with impunity," she said.

"So a signing of the free trade agreement, which will facilitate even more Canadian businesses in Honduras, this will only get worse. More poverty, more insecurity and more problems in human rights violations."

In 2010, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Honduras totalled $192 million.

Canadian exports totalled $40.8 million mainly fertilizers, machinery and dye. Imports totalled $151.2 million mainly fruits and textiles.

During his one-day trip here, Harper visited Gildan, a Montreal-based textile company that has an operation in Honduras and employs thousands of workers. Harper had nothing but praise for the company.

"It pays above minimum wage. It runs health, nutrition and transport programs for its employees and is a very good corporate citizen," he said.

"As a general rule, our Canadian companies have a very good record of social responsibility," said Harper.

He said the new trade agreement will benefit many Canadian workers and business sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing and the mining.

The agreement, which includes side agreements on labor standards and environmental protection, must now be ratified by Honduran politicians and by Canada's Parliament.

In addition to putting the focus on a new trade deal, Harper came here with a clear objective: to help provide stability and international credibility to a country that has been plagued for years by political crisis and brutal criminal activity.

Harper's visit is the first by a foreign leader since Honduras was readmitted earlier this year into the Organization of American States. It had been drummed out of the organization following the spectacle of its president, Manuel Zelaya, being ousted by the military in a 2009 coup.

He was forced to go to Costa Rica and his many efforts to return and regain his presidency ended in failure.

At the time, Canada condemned the coup. However, in late 2009, another presidential election was held and Zelaya's political rival the current president won.

Since then, Canada has moved to recognize his democratic bona fides, lobbying to have the country readmitted to the OAS.

Canada has been persuaded that the Honduras government, which appointed a Truth and Reconciliation commission to learn the lessons of the controversial coup, is on the right track.

Harper also applauded the current government for establishing a ministry dedicated to "justice and human rights."

"I think we have to be very clear. We know there are significant problems of security and human rights in this country, but we have no information to suggest that those are in any way perpetrated by the government."

Lobo, the Honduran president, said his country has no "state policy" to violate human rights, although he acknowledged that criminal drug gangs are causing major security problems.

He said that in the 1970s and 1980s, Honduras experienced widespread massacres of protesters, but that his government is trying to turn the corner.

"We believe in the strengthening and deepening of democracy," said Lobo.

Still, there is little doubt that the security woes faced by Honduras won't be resolved with any easy fix.

On its own website, Canada's Foreign Affairs Department warns Canadians considering travel to Honduras that the country is a dangerous place.

"The security situation has seriously deteriorated in Honduras," says the warning.

"Travellers should exercise a high degree of caution throughout the country, as Honduras has the highest homicide rate in Central America. Growing poverty and the increased presence of street gangs contribute to an already significant crime rate, and the apprehension and conviction rate of criminals remains low."


Read more: Protesters denounce Canada-Honduras free trade deal



Right on. Cheap made snowmobile parts made in sweatshops.
 
coldstream
+1
#2
Quote:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted Friday that Canada's new free trade deal with Honduras will help that crime-ridden country emerge from poverty and political chaos, adding that his opponents are just "selfish" trade protectionists.

What an idiot.

First of all Harper's first and overriding responsibility is to the people of Canada who elected him. Throwing his own compatriots under the bus, as Free Trade does, so that he can bask in the limelight of Global statesmanship.. with all the tin glory and flattery that he craves.. by people who view him as a shill and quisling to their ambitions.. is malfeasance of the highest order... bordering on treason.

The truth of Free Trade is it will not help poor Hondurans either. That is the great LIE about Free Trade. It makes no one richer except an oligarchic trading class.. who use Free Trade to extort policies of usury, exploitation, austerity, union busting.. playing off one desperate Maquilladora (Free Trade Zone) against another.

What a doddering, self absorbed fool we have elected as PM.
Last edited by coldstream; Aug 13th, 2011 at 11:40 AM..
 
petros
#3
He is tossing Canadian jobs down the tubes but that is fine with me. I knew about this **** years ago and found a way to profit quite from it.
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by coldstream View Post

What an idiot.


What a doddering, self absorbed fool we have elected as PM.

As opposed to the self absorbed fools we did not elect as PM?
 
DaSleeper
+2
#5  Top Rated Post
I'm willing to bet that most of those protesters shop at Wal-Mart......
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

I'm willing to bet that most of those protesters shop at Wal-Mart......

And drive or fly to their little rallys, leaving a huge carbon footprint.
 
petros
#7
Speaking of carbon foot print. When Honduran industry is pimped as clean and green thanks to wind power and CDN investment will you feel the same way?
 
55Mercury
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Speaking of carbon foot print. When Honduran industry is pimped as clean and green thanks to wind power and CDN investment will you feel the same way?

You're selling windmills?
 
petros
#9
Nope. Honduras has very little grain to mill.
 
55Mercury
#10
ha! I meant wind turbines... heck I know they don't mill anything, but I don't think I'm the only one who still refers to them as windmills.

so, (you might have inferred) .. you sell wind turbines? aw never mind. lol
 
petros
#11
Nope. Just keep an eye on those who do.
 
DaSleeper
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by 55Mercury View Post

ha! I meant wind turbines... heck I know they don't mill anything, but I don't think I'm the only one who still refers to them as windmills.

so, (you might have inferred) .. you sell wind turbines? aw never mind. lol

And there I thought that your reference to windmills was a comparison of Petros to Don Quixote
 
bill barilko
+2
#13
God Help Us the only thing we've ever imported from Honduras is drug dealers-street level thugs who stuck to this country like shit to a wool blanket.
 
Nuggler
+1
#14
Harpo, yer a geeeenius:

"
During his one-day trip here, Harper visited Gildan, a Montreal-based textile company that has an operation in Honduras and employs thousands of workers. Harper had nothing but praise for the company.
"It pays above minimum wage. It runs health, nutrition and transport programs for its employees and is a very good corporate citizen," he said"


Just not a good enough "corporate citizen" to have a factory in Canada, employing Canadians, except the head honchos at its Montreal office who probably have a good grasp on Harpos puppet strings.

Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilko View Post

God Help Us the only thing we've ever imported from Honduras is drug dealers-street level thugs who stuck to this country like shit to a wool blanket.


Figure an a whole lot more of these wonderful "immigrants" heading North right quickly.
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
#15
Economy of Honduras - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/ho.html
Last edited by Ron in Regina; Aug 13th, 2011 at 08:51 PM..Reason: Added second LINK
 
petros
#16
http://www.nrel.gov/wind/pdfs/honduras.pdf
 
Nuggler
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in Regina View Post

Economy of Honduras - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...k/geos/ho.html


Well, sure, eh...........bananas. Should a guessed.
 
AbtFet
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Nuggler View Post

Harpo, yer a geeeenius:

"
During his one-day trip here, Harper visited Gildan, a Montreal-based textile company that has an operation in Honduras and employs thousands of workers. Harper had nothing but praise for the company.
"It pays above minimum wage. It runs health, nutrition and transport programs for its employees and is a very good corporate citizen," he said"


Just not a good enough "corporate citizen" to have a factory in Canada, employing Canadians, except the head honchos at its Montreal office who probably have a good grasp on Harpos puppet strings.




Figure an a whole lot more of these wonderful "immigrants" heading North right quickly.

Why would we have a factory in Canada employing Canadians? Last I checked we're a capitalist nation and that is not how capitalism functions.
It's only profit that matters, and cheap labour down in Honduras = profit.
Don't like it? I don't like capitalism so much myself.
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by AbtFet View Post

Why would we have a factory in Canada employing Canadians? Last I checked we're a capitalist nation and that is not how capitalism functions.
It's only profit that matters, and cheap labour down in Honduras = profit.
Don't like it? I don't like capitalism so much myself.

Why, you don't like all the hard work involved in running a major corporation?
 
petros
#20
If I saw the savings on the purchase made buying Honduran made goods it wouldn't bother me.
 
DaSleeper
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by AbtFet View Post

Why would we have a factory in Canada employing Canadians? Last I checked we're a capitalist nation and that is not how capitalism functions.
It's only profit that matters, and cheap labour down in Honduras = profit.
Don't like it? I don't like capitalism so much myself.

Don't you love communism where a few do all the work and the rest????.......

Capitalist Economy:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten
comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like
this:

* The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
* The fifth would pay $1.
* The sixth would pay $3.
* The seventh would pay $7.
* The eighth would pay $12.
* The ninth would pay $18.
* The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the
arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the
cost of your daily beer by $20.’

‘Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.’

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the
first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what
about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the
$20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that
from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end
up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would
be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he
proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
* The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
* The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
* The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
* The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 ( 25% savings).
* The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).
* The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to
drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare
their savings.

‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’declared the sixth man. He pointed to
the tenth man,’but he got $10!’

‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only Saved a dollar, too.

It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!’

‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!’

‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get
anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.

For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
 
petros
#22
Quote:


If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something
like
this:

* The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
*
The fifth would pay $1.
* The sixth would pay $3.
* The seventh would pay
$7.
* The eighth would pay $12.
* The ninth would pay $18.
* The tenth
man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do

Who tips?
 
AbtFet
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

Don't you love communism where a few do all the work and the rest????.......


How can an economy survive on a few people? No economic system could function that way.

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

Why, you don't like all the hard work involved in running a major corporation?

There is a lot of hard work corporations put into exploiting people for profit.
 

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