Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,467 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

US bishops offer moral framework for trade agreements

Catholic World News - July 23, 2013

In a letter to Ambassador Michael Froman, who was recently confirmed as United States Trade Representative, the heads of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offered a “moral framework” for examining prospective trade agreements.

“The USCCB does not take specific positions for or against particular trade agreements; rather we offer principles that defend human life and dignity, protect the environment and public health, and promote justice and peace in our world,” wrote Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Human Development, in their July 19 letter.

The bishops said that key areas of concern include labor protections, respect for indigenous peoples, the environment, debt relief, the access of the poor to medicines, the “alleviation of the conditions that impel people to leave their homelands,” and “the vulnerability of small agricultural producers when confronted with competition by US agricultural products that enjoy a notable advantage due to US government policies.”

“We question the merits of requiring sovereign parties to international treaties to agree to binding international arbitration as the forum for dispute resolution,” the bishops added. “Such a path may lead to unfair advantages for commercial interests willing to exploit the rules of the arbitral system and may result in the weakening of important environmental, labor, and human rights standards.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($117,141 to go):
$150,000.00 $32,858.98
78% 22%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: unum - Jul. 23, 2013 5:58 PM ET USA

    So Bishops Blaire and Pates are now experts in international trade and willing to share their expertise (or lack thereof) with the office of the U.S. Trade Representative. They shouldn't be surprised if our secular government chooses to be guided by the Congress which must approve trade agreements. Of course they could have addressed their letter to the Catholic laity, a number of whom are involved in trade and can lobby effectively. But then, that would be teaching, wouldn't it?

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 7 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6