US Religious Leaders Urge Bush and Rice to Aid Poor in Trade Agreements

December 4, 2005

Source: ISNA/Catholic News Service

On December 4, 2005 the Catholic News Service reported, "Religious leaders' concerns that trade agreements take into account the effects of globalization on the poor were the topic of meetings Dec. 1 between religious leaders, President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In the first meeting, Washington Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick met with Bush at the White House. He then joined an interfaith delegation of religious leaders who spoke with Rice at the State Department.

In brief comments after his White House meeting, Cardinal McCarrick said he encouraged the president to protect the interests of the poor around the world who have too little access to the negotiating table.

Of particular concern as the World Trade Organization's Dec. 13-18 conference on trade approached was the emphasis on agricultural policies in that part of the Doha Round of negotiations. The ongoing round of trade talks carries the name of the site of the original meeting in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001... Bishop Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said it was historic to have such a broad range of religious leaders come together to advocate on such an issue... For Jews and for other faiths represented, 'without social action, we are nothing,' said Schockman. 'My colleagues may quote Luke and I may quote Isaiah, but we come to the same conclusion.'"