Blog: Praying Together for Fair Trade Policies

Jul 20, 2011 | By Mary Henneberry, NETWORK Intern

As a member of the Interfaith Working Group on Trade & Investment, NETWORK participated in a Prayer Breakfast on Human Rights and the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Read more

Message on Fair Trade Policies Sent to Congress

NETWORK, as part of the Interfaith Working Group (IWG) on Trade and Investment, has sent a strong letter to all Members of Congress to express our concerns about U.S. trade policies. Read more

Blog: Pursuing Real Development for Colombia

Oct 12, 2010 | By David Golemboski

Last week, I attended a meeting of the Council of the Americas, at which Juan Carlos Echeverry, Minister of Finance for Colombia, gave a presentation titled “Democratic Prosperity in Colombia and Main Challenges of the Santos Administration.” Read more



The reigning model for global economic integration follows the principle of “free trade,” which places its faith in the effectiveness of the market. The view has been that unfettered market economics would, without government intervention, do the work of bringing prosperity to all corners of the world. This theory was epitomized in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of the mid-1990s.


Global Economic Justice

NETWORK's legislative agenda for 2015 can be viewed here.

NETWORK believes that global economic justice requires fair trade policies.

What is the dominant view on trade agreements and the global economy, and how does NETWORK’s view compare?

The dominant view has been that unfettered market economics would, without government intervention, do the work of bringing prosperity to all corners of the world.

However, recent economic and market failures have demonstrated that free markets won’t necessarily be fair markets. Put another way, persons working solely to advance their own self-interest will not automatically benefit others.

NETWORK believes:

  • Market economics should be used to enhance the wellbeing of all people
  • When market economics cannot or does not work to the benefit of all people, the situation should be remedied so that universal benefit can be achieved
  • All who are impacted by trade and investment policies should have a hand in shaping them
  • Trade and investment policies should protect the world’s natural resources and support sustainable development.

NETWORK believes in global economic systems that truly recognize all people as equal partners—where civil society, governments and corporations collaborate and are held accountable in creating healthy and sustainable communities where each person’s basic rights are met and protected.

Guided by Catholic Social Teaching principles such as universal human dignity, participation as a basic human right, and stewardship of God’s creation, NETWORK supports FAIR trade rather than FREE trade. It is time for a change in our trade policies.

Catholic Social Justice Lobby Thanks Pope Benedict XVI for His Strong Statement About Economic Justice

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, welcomes the pope’s new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, which emphasizes the importance of many of NETWORK’s priority issues, including our work for effective ways to address poverty and hunger, justice for immigrants, ecological justice, fair trade, and development. Read more

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