Saturday, November 15, 2008

GSP - A Substitute Form of Enforcement Authority

By Preethi Sirimanne - von den Driesch

The EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner while responding to an accusation deliberately linked problems that are connected with terrorism with the GSP+ although one has nothing to do with the other. Ms. Ferrero-Waldner indirectly threatening Sri Lanka states: "If a country which benefits from GSP+ does not ensure compliance with these UN Conventions, it is perfectly normal that the eligibility be called into question." Ms. Ferrero-Waldner created the impression as if the European Commission (EC) is granting GSP + to Sri Lanka out of altruistic motives and as if the EC had always practiced their "values" (which she says that are at the heart of EU states) giving precedence to human rights obligation over other issues.

It is interesting to note that the very countries that had put interests of the private corporations before human rights at the initiation of trade regimes are now coercing other countries with the language of moral absolutes. Are we to interpret that international treaties stand above national laws? Regarding this issue Prof. for Economics Robert W. Staiger (who had done research work on international trade) and Prof. Kyle Bagwell (who taught international trade principles and commercial policy) write in GATT- Think: " International law does not replace national law; rather, international law instructs sovereign states on internationally accepted human rights and, for the most part, leaves it to states to implement those norms domestically." Full Text