This past May, I was joined by two guests who know a lot about ECAs - Aaron Goldzimer is a social scientist with the group Environmental Defense.
I began by asking Aaron Goldzimer
to describe what an ECA
are little known agencies - usually government agencies or government-backed agencies that essentially get other countries to buy our products from our corporations, which is to say our exports.
CS: Aaron Goldzimer is a social scientist with the group Environmental Defense.
author of a report called, "Worse Than the World Bank?
Export Credit Agencies-The Secret Engine of Globalization," and that is a backgrounder put out by Food First or the Institute for Food and Development Policy
We will have a link to Aaron
's report on our home page Livingroomradio.org later today, and Aaron focuses on international financial institutions, and especially ECAs
, which we're talking about today.
, you talked about the fact that these organizations, these public agencies, are secretive.
CS: Aviva Imhof, Aaron
was saying how secretive these ECAs
were, and my question is - are they immune from public pressure?
Aaron Goldzimer with Environmental Defense, I know that the World Bank and the IMF, even though they don't necessarily adhere to standards and safe guards about environment and human rights and corruption in the developing countries that are using this money, at least these standards do exist and sometimes the World Bank and IMF are being held accountable to these standards.
CS: Aaron Goldzimer is a social scientist with Environmental Defense.
joins us by phone from D.C., and you can check out a backgrounder report here called, "Worse than the World Bank?
Export Credit Agencies - The Secret Engine of Globalization," at www.foodfirst.org.
Also joining us on the line is Aaron Goldzimer - he works with Environmental Defense, and he's written at least a couple of reports, and very important reports, on ECAs, and again, these are entities that have been called by his report the least examined, the least transparent, the least accountable and in some ways the most harmful of all major lending institutions, financing institutions to developing countries.
, Aviva mentioned the World Bank and the ECAs
and how they sometimes interact with each other.
CS: Alright, we don't have a lot of time left, but I want to get to the question of what to do about all this, but Aaron
, I think you were going to mention a little bit about the arms trade and how ECAs interact with that.
I would of course suggest checking out www.foodfirst.org and reading Aaron Goldzimer's
report "Worse than the World Bank?
Export Credit Agencies - A Secret Engine of Globalization.
, Are you calling for their abolition?
They are still dependent on some financing from Congress, so people need to contact their congressional representatives and make them aware that this is an issue that they are very concerned about, and even writing the U.S. government, and in addition, for example, we've been working on the Japanese ECA - the Japanese are highly susceptible to foreign pressure, so even writing to foreign governments and expressing concern, and the Web sites that Aaron
mentioned, as well as our web site - www.irn.org - where you can access different action alerts, and there are a lot of places out there where writing letters does work.
CS: Ok, we have to leave it right there.
Aviva Imhof with the International Rivers Network and Aaron Goldzimer with Environment Defense - thanks very much for coming on with me today.