From the Chatham Address on Dec. 03, 2003 by the
PM, speaking of world trade policies:
"And what effect do these policies have on
countries like Belize? In 1995, when the WTO was
born, we got US$ 282.00 per ton of Sugar; today
we get US$ 146.00; then, we were paid $ 9.15 for
a box of bananas exported to the European Union;
today its $6,50; citrus fetched US $1.15 per
pound solid; today we get 84 cents.
Even the growing new industries of
diversification, on which we place such high
hopes, like shrimp farming, are affected: in 1999
we were paid $5.50 per pound; today that's fallen
to $3.09. Meanwhile all the necessary inputs for
producing these goods, like petroleum, machinery,
fertilizers, have increased in price. And you
know what they do to us when we try to enter new
areas like financial services: they accuse us of
unfair competition and threaten sanctions! How
are we supposed to eradicate poverty like that?
Many countries in the Caribbean are worse off
than we are, as are many others in the world.
Some 3 billion people live on less than $2.00 per
day. The World Bank has determined that in Latin
America and the Caribbean, the number of people
living on that paltry sum increased by 14 million
between 1987 and 1998. Meanwhile, in Europe each
cow gets more than $2.50 per day in state
subsidies, while millions of people in the world
die of hunger and preventable diseases. You have
to wonder who's mad: the cows or the system that
produces these contridictions."