Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

TUC calls for trade restrictions on Honduras

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TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has written to Baroness Ashton, UK member of the European Commissioner in charge of trade, who replaced Peter Mandelson on his return to UK politics, to call for ‘all possible action’ in the struggle to return democracy to Honduras. Pointing to the political measures taken by the EU this week, including the withdrawal of ambassadors and the postponement of the round of EU-Central America negotiations, Barber calls on the Commission also to ‘suspend GSP+ trade preferences to Honduras until there is a total return to democracy.’

Over twenty Honduran trade union leaders have received threats to their liberty and physical safety following trade union support for mass protests against the coup, in spite of which street protests continue some three weeks later. Ousted President Manuel Zelaya has said that his supporters have the ‘right to insurrection‘ in their bid to see him reinstated. Internationally-supported mediation talks continue in Costa Rica.

The call for the suspension of Honduras’s GSP+ trade preferences stops short of a call for sanctions, but nonetheless represents a powerful weapon, since the criteria for inclusion as a GSP+ beneficiary include that the country qualifying (of which there are only 16) must be considered ‘vulnerable’ in terms of its size or the limited diversification of its export.

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Written by Calvin

15/07/2009 at 5:02 pm

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