Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa speaks with Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow in an interesting video/podcast.
Pres. Correa briefly touches upon his views on free trade agreements, quoted below from Democracy Now.
PRESIDENT RAFAEL CORREA: [translated] No, we’re not talking about a free trade agreement with the European Union; we’re talking about fair trade for development. And that’s how the agreement was originally posed. First, a block-to-block agreement between the European Union and the Andean community, with three pillars: a political dialogue, cooperation and trade. And this last one, trade, is understood as trade for development.
Unfortunately, all of that has been deteriorating. Among the reasons, because two of the Andean community countries already have a free trade agreement with the United States, and I’m referring to Colombia and Peru. And they have very little to lose in the negotiations with the European Union. So, the first thing that collapsed was the block-to-block negotiation.
And it’s clear that the emphasis was focused on the trade aspect. And I should also recognize that from the European Union, they tried to approach it as a free trade agreement, which has always been rejected by Ecuador. We’re interested in all three dimensions of the agreement: political dialogue, cooperation and trade. And within trade, we’re talking about fair trade, not the idea of free trade, which we see as simplistic, liberalizing everything. And we’re engaged in tough negotiations with the European Union on this.
Now, in the event that we’re not satisfied with the agreements that result, then we simply won’t sign. But I reiterate, we’re not negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union.
President Correa also discusses US-Latin American relations, mining and oil corporations in the Amazon (Peru and Ecuador), and US-Colombia relations.
Read the complete transcript of the interview or watch the video interview at DemocracyNow.org.