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Rather than experiencing real benefits from trade liberalization and the intense promotion of international trade, the most impoverished people and the environment are bearing the burden of the process. Trade agreements are being drafted by powerful nations, institutions, corporations and individuals to benefit a minority of the global population. Poor nations and organizations of impoverished people are regularly excluded from a meaningful role in trade negotiations.

In the process,whole sectors of the economy in which poor people were participating, such as subsistence farming and small, locally owned businesses have been destroyed. Millions of people have no job security, are not paid a living wage or work only in the informal sector.

At the same time, the right of the private sector to profit is taking precedence over the right of all people to access the basic necessities of life, including food, health care and essential medicine, shelter and basic education.

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