It’s Time to Stop Corporations Profiting from COVID-19

CSOs | Video | October 19, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest health and economic crisis in a generation. Some governments are taking extraordinary measures to fight the pandemic, in order to save lives, protect jobs, and avoid economic disaster. But the little known Investor-State Dispute Settlement system, or ISDS, included in many trade deals, could pressure governments to roll back public-interest measures, or pay millions in compensation to corporations.

ISDS allows foreign companies to sue governments for measures that might impact their profits.

When a government adopts a policy that affects a foreign company’s profits, they can take that government to arbitration to cover their perceived financial loss. ISDS cases could…

CSOs Demand Suspension of Intellectual Property Protection during COVID-19

By CSOs | Letter | October 15, 2020

More than 370 civil society organisations, including Madhyam, have urged the Members of the World Trade Organization to adopt the proposal titled, “Waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19” submitted by India and South Africa on October 2, 2020. The proposal allows member-countries to suspend certain intellectual property protection related to the prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19. The WTO’s TRIPS Council will meet on October 15-16 to discuss this proposal. Following is the full text of the statement issued by CSOs on October 15, 2020:

Dear Members of the World Trade Organization,

We the undersigned organisations…

CSOs Call on IMF to Stop Promoting Austerity Policies

By CSOs | Statement | October 6, 2020

More than 500 civil society organisations and academics from 87 countries, including Madhyam, have issued a statement today calling on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stop promoting austerity and instead support policies that advance gender justice, reduce inequality, and put people and planet first. The statement comes ahead of the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings scheduled to take place from October 12-18, 2020.

Following is the full text of the statement issued on October 6, 2020:

We, the undersigned, call on the IMF to immediately stop promoting austerity around the world, and instead advocate policies that advance gender justice, reduce inequality, and decisively put…

Deciphering India’s New Farm Laws in a Global Context

By Shalini Bhutani | Commentary | October 5, 2020

Two hurriedly enacted new farm laws do not throw up altogether new ideas. These so-called ‘reforms’ in agricultural marketing have been on the cards for much of the last two decades. Among other things, the emphasis two new central laws place on agricultural export and large players are not reformative. Unless global trade rules too are truly reformed to address the concerns of developing countries, the optimism on being able to transform farmers’ lives and livelihoods through barrier-free…

Agriculture is a Big Deal. Any Trade Deal Should Not Mess with Indian Agriculture

By Shalini Bhutani | Commentary | September 10, 2020

The possibility of a trade deal between India and the United States (US) is being discussed again. The timing of it is predictably before the presidential elections in the US in November 2020. Trade deals have figured in President Trump’s campaign speeches, including the one at the Republican National Convention. The Trump administration has been negotiating several trade deals in the past year, clearly with an eye on the elections. The more notable ones are referred to as ‘Phase One’ deals. These fast track deals do not require congressional approval or implementation legislation, with the US President given the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)….