Barbados Government Minister Chris Sinckler Working Hard For Us All In Switzerland – BUT…

Sinckler At The World Trade Organisation In Geneva

Minister Of Foreign Trade Chris Sinckler

Minister Of Foreign Trade Chris Sinckler

Minister of Foreign Trade Chris Sinckler is over in Switzerland fighting for Barbados as the WTO considers changes in tariffs. (CBC article here)

While Minister Sinckler’s work with tariffs doesn’t have the exciting cache of announcing a new hotel project or some other flashy government initiative, it is this important work in the trenches that very much impacts our economy on a long term basis.

The idea of working in Switzerland sounds exciting to the uninitiated, but the glitz of travel soon fades into the reality of life on the road. Chris might be doing a little sightseeing in Switzerland, but for the mostpart we bet that he will have started to miss home by now.

The World Trade Organisation & World Agencies Know We Lack Integrity Legislation

Minister Sinckler is trying to convince WTO major members that Barbados and other small and vulnerable economies should be given a break when compared to larger nations. That is all good and necessary for small countries like Barbados, but increasingly, larger countries and world agencies are becoming far less tolerant of government corruption than they were even five years ago.

Barbados does not have Integrity Legislation or effective oversight of government spending, and while the WTO and the larger nations are willing to help us out, they want to know that their support and concessions will go to the citizens of Barbados and not end up lining the pockets of the government’s members and friends.

How much easier and more effective could Minister Sinckler’s efforts be if he could say that Barbados had taken a firm stand against corruption in government.

Instead, Minister Sinckler can only tell his fellow Trade Ministers that the Thompson government was elected on a platform of integrity initiatives – but then failed to adopt even a single measure once it achieved power and held the keys to the treasury.

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9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

9 responses to “Barbados Government Minister Chris Sinckler Working Hard For Us All In Switzerland – BUT…

  1. zero tolerance

    No rule of law in Barbados = Less credibility internationally.

    Someone said “banana republic” and they are not too far wrong.

  2. Eh Eh!

    You speak as if these Europeans are any better at keeping corruption out of their own politics. Hell this whole “war on terror” pozzaz that they ALL support in one form or another is as corrupt as it gets.

  3. 329.18

    While I agree that the war on terror gets a little ‘carried away with itself’
    from time to time
    I don’t quite see how it qualifies as corruption, or corrupting.

  4. Thomas Gresham

    Dear BFP,

    You know I support you fully on the need for ITAL and better governance in general. Your non-partisan persistence is admirable. However, I am not sure that every story should be linked to it directly.

    The big issues at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are not about ITAL. They are about liberalization of trade in agricultural goods and in services. Poor nations want the former (they are largely agricultural exporters) and rich nations want the latter (they are largely service exporters).

    One sideshow is, “us” a group of countries (ACP) who have over the years received exemptions from the rules because of the economic legacy of colonialism. These preferences that some try to cling hold to are under threat from other developing countries and are diminishing in scope. It has also been found that these preferences were a great hindrance to us as it meant that, behind their protection, we did not invest enough and diversify enough out of sugar and bananas. This applies more to St Vincent, St Lucia, Guyana and Jamaica than to Barbados and Trinidad.

    The recently concluded Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) has been about removing preferences and replacing them with grants and loans to help diversification. The Barbados government was recently awarded once such European grant to help establish an institute to train locals to work in the financial sector (and study to become anti-money laundering compliance officers amongst other things) and to build a new refinery that will turn sugar into ethanol etc. Whether ethanol is a good idea is another story. What is happening to this grant? I have heard nothing. I have heard nothing sensible out of Mr. Sinckler on these issues as yet. But the brief is a comples one and it is early days.

    ****************

    BFP says,

    Hi Thomas,

    ITAL is very important to the WTO operations. You would be well advised to go to their website and search “conflicts of interest”, “gifts”, “integrity”. You will find hundreds of documents and scandals.

    The WTO has for a number of years adopted ‘get tough’ implementation of their own rules, and they have disallowed various ngo and government representatives for non-compliance with their rules.

    ITAL is where its at these days.

    You might want to start by reading this, and see if your perspective on WTO and ITAL might change…

    http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news01_e/gcnon_gov_donors_e.htm

  5. Maat

    Eh eh’s point may be more suited to the title collusion rather than corruption, although in the case of the WTO negotiations, I suspect there is a little of both.
    What is interesting is the division from the ACP that is being pursued with the Caribbean agreement to the Economic Partnership Agreement with Europe. Much of what is being pushed with the EPA is some of the same initiatives that are being negotiated and stalled at the WTO.
    At the WTO level of agreements, with the Caribbean as a part of the African Pacific grouping, (plan a) we are led to believe negotiations are all very hunky dory and very civil with importance being placed on input from all involved; while at the EPA level of Caribbean agreements (plan b) we are being told sign on the dotted line “or else”. The “or else” has many spineless leaders and advisers (Probably businessmen with a vested interest in opening the floodgates to cheap products) urging us that the EPA is in our best interest.
    Is this similar to how the slave traders convinced some of our ancestral leaders to sell their own and give away their lands? If one plan doesn’t work to get agreement out of the African Caribbean and Pacific alliance, then separate the historically weaker grouping from the rest. Divide and rule is an ancient concept, perfected by the builders of empires

    Peace

  6. Thomas Gresham

    Dear BFP,

    I am sorry, this is not where it is at and you are only undermining your position by becoming single-minded about it.

    Look at the last major speeches of EU Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, or the US Trade Representative, or the various groups of developing countries. The big debate on trade is not ITAL. The reason why Doha collapsed is not ITAL. The negtiating position of the EU and US does not hinge on ITAL.

    It is about trade in services, agriculture, about preferences (EPA etc), then come issues of investment protectionism (re: Dubai Ports etc).

    Fighting corruption is a constant, but it is not breaking or making any agreements at WTO today.

    The main forum for anti-corruption efforts is in fact not WTO, but the OECD. Unfortunately the OECD’s Anti-Corruption efforts have taken a beating by theUK’s decision to suspend the investigation into slush funds being paid by BAE to win the Saudi contract and a similar situation at Siemens, though the Germans have prosecuted. Many developing countries are saying why should we make the effort if the rich countries are not doing so. Of course, two wrongs do not make a right.

    *******************

    BFP says,

    Thomas, you have erected a straw man – we never said that ITAL was holding up any agreements etc. We merely stated that our lack of ITAL is being noticed on many levels internationally. All that is true.

  7. Jerome Hinds

    Minister Sinckler and the DLP are doing a wonderful job enhancing/protecting Barbados trading interests abroad…….a pity we did not have them there before the EPA negotiations began.

  8. Maat

    Chris Sinckler has always being held in generally high regard by the Caribbean NGO community,mainly because he was seen as a man pushing for justice for the small unrepresented entity and people.
    Within this EPA can their be a clause that insists that companies wishing to trade under the agreement, be required to invest in the region in some way other than having us as consumers?
    Perhaps building locally owned manufacturing bases, where feasible. How about training in the same skills or products that they will be selling to us.
    How will this EPA effect our tangible but fragile agricultural and manufacturing sectors?
    It seems like it will be a case of buy cheaper, get dependent on buying cheaply (because it is expensive to compete) and live a cheap (if not cheerful) life.
    Tell me where any agreement with Europe has been of sustainable benefit to the region and I will remove my signature from the the

  9. WildyCoyte.

    The Collapse of the American Economy is being carried out deliberately. Here’s my end-game/end-time/last-days scenario.

    1. [B]Day 1:[/B]
    a. In 2009, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury will announce that the U.S. is no longer able to service its debt.
    i. This will be done when the Asian and European markets are closed, probably at 9:30 a.m. PST, in order to give the SEC time to meet and determine the best course of action.
    ii. The SEC will meet in order to determine what is going to happen when the Japanese, and European, markets open the next day.
    1. The SEC will determine that there’s only 3 ways of handling crisis:
    a. Dramatically reduce federal spending by:
    i. Cutting $100 Billion from defense’s budget.
    ii. Cutting all Bush’s tax cuts and incentives to Corporations and the wealthy.
    b. Increase federal income tax from 28% to 65%.
    i. Declare a “Force Majeure,” which is a suspension of all debts and obligations.
    b. The SEC will conclude that a “Force Majeure” is the best course of action, and the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury will declare a “Force Majeure.”

    2. [B]Day 2:[/B]
    a. DOW Jones, and its related indices, loses 2/3 of their value.

    3. [B]Day 3:[/B]
    a. U.S. closes all financial markets, including domestic banks, in order to prevent further decline.
    b. U.S. Special Forces will drop, by parachute, into cities where the 12 Federal Reserve district banks are located, in order to secure their gold bullion reserves.
    c. President declares a state of “Martial Law,” preventing anyone from leaving their home.
    d. The U.S. Treasury will de-monetize the U.S. Dollar, thus declaring it worthless.
    e. All food and fuel suppliers will be temporarily shut down.
    f. Government will seize all food storage warehouses as well as food producing farms, such as cattle ranches, pig farms, poultry farms, etc.

    4. [B]Day 4 – ?:[/B]
    a. The U.S. government re-institutes the “Gold Confiscation Act” of 1933, which will make it illegal for anyone to own gold, or silver, coins, bullion (bars), of certificates. Anyone found in possession of these items, will be arrested unless he/she surrenders them to the government. Gold and silver jewelry, commonly referred to as “junk gold” and “junk silver” is permitted, but coins, bullion (bars), and certificates of precious metals (over ~90% pure) must be surrendered.
    b. Government issues “Rationing Cards” to citizens, which allow them to go to a centralized location to get a portion of food and living-necessities.
    c. Government declares that America will merge with Canada and Mexico and will form the “North American Union,” also referred to as the N.A.U.
    i. With the formation of the N.A.U., a new Constitution will be created. It will dispense of all civil liberties and rights.
    ii. Along with the new Constitution, citizens will be issued National ID Cards. These ID cards will contain your photo, personal information, as well as a microchip to track your movements.
    iii. Every person will be monitored by video and audio, and no one will have the right to privacy.
    iv. A new standard of currency for the NAU will be introduced, called the “Amero,” which will replace the de-monetized U.S. Dollar.
    d. The NAU and the European Union will join in an alliance, held together by a centralized state-run religion.
    e. The formation of the NAU and the European Union will cause China, Russia, and India to create a Union of their own.
    f. These formations will result in escalating tensions, and will launch the world into war. This will be the start of WWIII.
    g. WWIII will result in the death of approximately ¼ – ½ of the earth’s population.
    h. After WWIII:
    i. The NAU and the European Union will be the victors of the war.
    ii. They will merge into a single cohesive government ruling the entire world under one law, called “The New World Order.”
    iii. They will dispense with the National ID Cards, and will request that citizens agree to instead accept a “mark” either in their heads, or hands, to show solidarity to the state.
    iv. This “mark” will allow citizens the freedom to buy and sell, and those refusing to receive the “mark” will be shut out.
    v. In order to receive this “mark,” one must agree to deny that Jesus Christ is God, and must instead agree to worship the state.
    vi. Those that refuse to accept the “mark” are scorned, mocked, and persecuted, in order to convince them to accept the “mark.”
    vii. Later, laws will be passed ordering that anyone that refuse to accept the “mark” shall be arrested and executed. Resulting in “The Great Tribulation Period,” in which countless people will be executed.
    viii. JESUS CHRIST returns, and you know the rest…