4 Oct 2007

Pacific's arm twisted by EU over trade deal, says NGO

6:57 pm on 4 October 2007

The Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, says Pacific countries about to agree on an interim trade deal with the European Union are under pressure.

Pacific countries from the African, Carribean and Pacific Group have jointly declared with the EU their aim to conclude an interim deal as a stepping stone to a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The interim deal would enter into force on January the 1st and the two sides would seek a final EPA by the end of 2008.

PANG's Roshni Sami says the Pacific had previously outlined their minimum negotiating position that no one facet of the deal is agreed on until the whole deal is agreed on.

"What we can see by this interim agreement is that actually that red line has been broken because they will be concluding negotiations on some sectors by December 31st 2007, according to this joint statement, and then the rest of the sectors will be negotiated and concluded by 2008. So you can see the Pacific's arm has been twisted and the way they've done that is by including sugar in the EPAs."

PANG's Roshni Sami