The rules of the global trading system are biased toward the rich and powerful.
Trade itself, between equals who have something to sell that others need, is immensely important and beneficial. Trade on fair terms offers the hope of a route out of poverty with dignity; it enables growth and it promotes peaceful relationships. ACORD is not opposed to trade on just terms.
Unfortunately the world is not a level playing field and we do not all trade as equals. Some have immense power and control in the market while others are powerless. In this situation, global trade rules need to even the situation out, supporting the small player so that they have a chance to benefit, and restraining the big players to stop them taking over completely. On paper governments recognise and accept this, referring to the need for rules that differentiate between players and give special treatment to the poorest. So far, however, this has not truly been put into practice.
ACORD advocates for justice in trade and a fair trading system. We call for African governments to speak out for the needs of their people in trade negotiations and to refuse to accept any bad deals. And we urge rich countries to live up to their rhetoric about building a trading system that could improve the lives of millions of people trapped in poverty. We work on trade in the context of: