Image Menu
This day has been sponsored by : Dirk Holler

<MMString:LoadString id="insertbar/linebreak" />

Week 5 Day 3 - "TLC"

Here, this is not short for "tender, love, and care" but for "Tratado de Libre Comercio" or "Free Trade Agreement". I had mentioned the TLC before and since it is an important topic in Costa Rica, I wanted to provide a little more detail. For accuracy reasons, I will be mainly using quotes from Costa Rica: Strengthening Patent Laws, Weakening Human Rights:

"Following the largest public debate in the country’s history, on 7 October 2007 Costa Rica
narrowly voted in favor of ratification of the Central American-Dominican Republic-United States
Free Trade Agreement (hereafter CAFTA-DR), with a tiny majority of 51.6% of the population
voting “Sí”.

Although the public referendum on this trade agreement must be commended, the narrow result
cannot be said to give the government a popular mandate in favour of ratification. And ratification
of CAFTA-DR could have adverse effects on enjoyment of the right to health in Costa Rica. Thus, lobbying efforts from both sides are now focused on the parliament which must approve thirteen laws relating to the implementation of CAFTA-DR before the deadline for ratification, set at March 2008.

In Costa Rica, about 23% of the population (one fifth of households) live below the poverty line.
Particularly vulnerable sectors include the rural population, households headed by females,
indigenous people, and those living in the frontier states.30 If the Costa Rican pharmaceutical industry
estimates of an 800% price rise in the cost of medicines as a result of the changes in patent laws31 are
correct, many Costa Ricans will be priced out of the medicine market.32 As a result of CAFTA-DR,
the ability of the State to fulfill its obligations in relation to the right to health of the Costa Rican
population could seriously be put into question."

Health care is not the only concern, though.

The following 3 Nobel Prize Winners had recommended to vote "NO" on the TLC, and their comments go as far as suggesting that Costa Rica risks to become just another star on the American flag:
JOSE SARAMAGO, Premio Nobel de Literatura (Literature)
JOSEPH STIGLITZ, Premio Nobel de Economía (Economy)
ADOLFO PEREZ ESQUIVEL, Premio Nobel de la Paz (Peace)

The caricature (picture n° 2) suggests that Bush can make the most unfair requests and is met with no resistance; it is demonstrating their point of view.

This topic is too extensive for just one day, and I might pick it up again in the future. I have been trying to find arguments "pro TLC"... after all 51% of the population voted "si" but I could not find any.


For today's sponsors

Dirk... heute wird das schwierig mit einer Übersetzung, da ich viele Zitate gebrauche.

Grob zusammengefaßt hat der Tratado de Libre Comercio mit den USA für Costa Rica sehr viele negative Auswirkungen, insbesondere wird erwartet, daß die medizinische Versorgung durch patentierte Medikamente so stark verteuert wird, daß sie für viele Teile der Bevölkerung unerschwinglich wird.