La Prensa Grafica cites Jubilee USA on the new $400 million reserve funds for El Salvador

La Prensa Grafica quoted Eric LeCompte on the new allocation of $400 million through Special Drawing Rights for El Salvador. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

FMI otorgará $400 millones para El Salvador por pandemia

By Claudia Espinoza

Resources will be delivered through Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which are funds to complement the reserves of the countries.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will grant $ 400 million to El Salvador to face the covid-19 crisis, being one of the most benefited countries in the region, in addition to Ecuador and Argentina, which will receive $1 billion and $4.3 billion respectively.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, said this outlay will not be enough. "Rich countries that receive emergency reserves they don't need should transfer those resources to developing countries fighting the pandemic," he said.

 

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BBC features Eric LeCompte on the new allocation of $650 billion SDRs

BBC features Eric LeCompte on the creation of $650 billion SDRs destined to underpin the global economic recovery and help the nations that face gigantic levels of debt. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

FMI: cuánto dinero recibirá cada país de América Latina con la mayor inyección de recursos que ha aprobado el organismo en toda su historia

By Cecilia Barría

Latin American countries are trying to stand up and accelerate economic recovery after the harsh recession caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

Those who have the most uphill path are those with few fiscal reserves to allow them to guarantee their stability and with little access to credit in international markets due to their high level of risk.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, said the measure will benefit developing countries, but it will not be enough.

"Rich countries that receive emergency reserves they don't need should transfer those resources to developing countries fighting the pandemic," he said.

 

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Eric LeCompte speaks with Crux on the Jubilee USA/US Trade Rep Tai meeting on vaccines and COVID response

Eric LeCompte and Jubilee USA Network are featured in Crux on the recent meeting with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and the push to waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full article. 

Religious leaders push waiver on patents for COVID vaccines

By John Lavenburg 

If world leaders don’t take steps this fall to get COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s poorest countries, according to Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, then the darkest days of the pandemic still lie ahead.

"Temporarily waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents is an important step to accomplishing that goal," LeCompte said. Earlier this week, religious leaders advocated for that action to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who expressed support.

“If [the World Trade Organization] doesn’t move forward, we’re not going to have the vaccines we need for global distribution, let alone what it seems now are a necessity for a third shot or booster shot for people who have already been vaccinated in the developed world,” LeCompte told Crux.

The meeting with Tai was the first of its kind between religious leaders and the U.S. Trade Representative. Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services, who is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on International Justice and Peace, represented the Catholic Church.

LeCompte said Broglio and the other religious leaders were able to “very profoundly share the stories of what’s happening in most of the world” when it comes to the spread of COVID-19, and convey the need for urgent action on issues such as the temporarily waiving the property rights on COVID-19 vaccines.

“It already may be too late to curb some of the great challenges we’re going to face, and that’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that the World Trade Organization went on vacation instead of dealing with the most urgent matter before it,” LeCompte said. “It’s unfortunate that world leaders have been slow to act over the summer at the G-7 and G-20 with making decisions that need to be made in terms of financing and aid for global vaccine distribution.”

 

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Jubilee USA statement on the passing of Richard Trumka

Washington DC – Labor leader Richard Trumka passed away at 72. Trumka was President of the AFL-CIO, the largest US union.

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network, worked with Richard Trumka and the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO was a founding member of Jubilee USA Network. LeCompte issues the following statement on Trumka's passing:

Rich Trumka's passing is incredibly sad.

He was a powerful voice for workers and the vulnerable.

I remember the meetings he convened with the leaders of the largest unions in his office to meet with Jubilee on supporting debt and disaster relief for Puerto Rico. It was his leadership that made sure the labor community understood the urgent need to advocate for Puerto Rico's recovery.

While Trumka fought for the rights of workers, he was a deep supporter of efforts of the religious community to advocate for trade rules that protected poor people and promoted healthcare.

This week, he ensured the AFL-CIO showed its support for our religious leader roundtable with US Trade Representative Tai.

Trumka's conviction, voice and actions stemmed from his faith. Coming from a coal mining family, he often shared stories of how the Catholic Church defended the rights of workers. He saw the Church as being the ally of those who struggled to have a better life."

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Trade Rep Tai and major religious leaders hold historic meeting on vaccines and COVID response

Washington DC – Some of the highest ranking religious leaders met with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to express support for waiving vaccine patents. The measure, the religious leaders argue, will increase COVID vaccine access for developing countries. 

“The meeting with Tai was positive and she understands the urgent need to increase vaccine production for developing countries,” shared Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of Jubilee USA which organized the Tai meeting with religious leaders. “Waiving vaccine COVID patents will help produce more vaccines and save lives in the developing world.”

According to the United Nations, poor countries received less than 1% of COVID vaccine doses. The World Trade Organization is considering temporarily waiving pharmaceutical patents so developing countries could produce vaccines, tests and treatments.

Leaders of the Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ Churches and AFL-CIO joined Jubilee USA for the meeting. Beyond COVID response, the group discussed trade policies that protect the environment and jobs and prevent future crises in developing countries. 

"Religious institutions and voices are strongly urging that all COVID solutions protect the vulnerable, jobs and our planet," noted LeCompte. "This is the first time a US Trade Representative met with major religious leaders. The meeting was important because all of the faith leaders represent communities in the developing world who are facing devastating third and fourth waves of the pandemic."

In March, Jubilee USA organized a meeting between high-ranking faith leaders and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on pandemic response.

View the US Trade Representative Tai/Jubilee USA Network roundtable agenda and speakers list here.

Read about the WTO COVID vaccine patent waiver process here.

Read about the Secretary Yellen/Jubilee USA Network roundtable here.

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Eric LeCompte quoted on The Guardian on recent IMF announcement

Eric LeCompte was quoted in The Guardian on the International Monetary Fund's recent announcement finalizing the allocation of $650 billion in Special Drawing Rights. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full article. 

What they said about the IMF announcement

Following the news about the IMF’s allocation of $650billion in Special Drawing Rights - some campaigners are calling for rich nations to donate their share to poorer countries.

Eric LeCompte, executive director at Jubilee USA Network, a US religious development organization, said developing countries need more aid to get over the crisis prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Wealthy countries receive most of these emergency reserves and must donate them to developing countries."

 

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Bloomberg cites Eric LeCompte on IMF's approval of $650 billion SDRs

Bloomberg cites Jubilee USA Network and Eric LeCompte on their call to the G-20 to support the creation of $3 trillion in SDRs. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

IMF Nations Approve Record $650 Billion to Aid Virus Fight

By Eric Martin

Member nations approved the biggest resource injection in the International Monetary Fund’s history, with $650 billion meant to help countries deal with mounting debt and the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Group of Seven advanced economies in June endorsed a plan to reallocate $100 billion of new SDRs to poorer countries, but the G-20 in July only specified support for a general allocation of $650 billion in SDRs, without detailing how much would be re-lent.

More than 200 groups including the Jubilee USA Network, a non-profit organization that advocates for debt relief for developing countries, had called on the G-20 to support the creation of $3 trillion in SDRs, saying the funds are needed to help free up resources for health care and social spending.

“Developing countries need more aid to get beyond the crisis,” Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, said in a statement late Monday. “Wealthy countries receive most of these emergency reserves and must donate them to developing countries.”

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IMF approves $650 billion in emergency currency to combat pandemic

Washington DC – The IMF Board of Governors convened a special virtual session for final approval of US $650 billion in emergency reserve currency or Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). Countries will receive their share of Special Drawing Rights on August 23rd.

“More than $200 billion of these new reserve funds will go to developing countries to support pandemic relief and recovery efforts,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “While these resources are needed, developing countries must receive more aid to get beyond the crisis.”

More than $400 billion of the emergency currency goes to wealthy countries. Wealthy countries can donate their SDRs to developing countries directly, or through initiatives from the IMF or development banks.

“Most wealthy countries don't need their share of Special Drawing Rights and they need to donate them quickly to developing countries struggling with the health and economic crisis,” stated LeCompte.

Read Jubilee USA's IMF COVID response letter calling for Special Drawing Rights aid with nearly 270 signatories here.

 

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Accounting Today quotes Eric LeCompte on corporate tax increases

Eric LeCompte is quoted on Accounting Today on how the U.S. and other countries are moving forward on increasing tax rates on multinational corporations. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story. 

Corporate tax increases move closer to reality

By Michael Cohn

Earlier this month, G-20 leaders agreed on a plan to impose a minimum tax rate of 15% on corporations and to keep companies from shifting their profits to low-tax countries. New data released Thursday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development indicated that multinational corporations have continued to shift their profits to other countries despite record low tax rates. 

Advocates for raising corporate tax rates are hoping the OECD and the G-20 will go even further in their negotiations. “To some degree, the devil is in the details,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a coalition of more than 750 religious groups and organizations. “We don’t really have a final plan yet, but the commitments that we have are very important. The plan calls for a minimum global corporate tax of at least 15%. That’s where negotiations are starting. Certainly we don’t believe that’s going to be enough, but it’s a good start, and we’re really hoping that with continuing negotiations, we’re able to get above 20% for a global minimum corporate tax."

“A big part of moving forward is trying to get the entire world on board,” said LeCompte. “At this point [over] 130 countries have endorsed the OECD working proposal on these tax issues, but we have a number of countries big and small that have not signed on or endorsed it yet."

 

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Jubilee USA statement on World Trade Organization meeting

The World Trade Organization closed two-day meetings on pandemic response policies that included a proposal to temporarily wave COVID vaccine patents.  

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert, releases the following statement on the World Trade Organization meetings:

“We must act quickly to increase vaccine production and ensure everyone can access COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. 

"Unfortunately, the WTO failed to agree on a temporary patent waiver.

“Waiving pharmaceutical patents is necessary for more countries to produce and procure COVID vaccines and ultimately end the pandemic.

“World leaders fail to act and millions of people will suffer and die because they can't access vaccines."

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Puerto Rico job creation bill introduced in Senate

Companies could get tax breaks for creating jobs in Puerto Rico, under a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D) and Roger Wicker (R). If passed, the Territory Economic Development Tax Credit Act seeks to increase employment and investment in the US territories.

“Puerto Rico needs good jobs to see long-term economic recovery,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Debt relief and natural disaster recovery aid will not be enough to reduce the island's high poverty rates. Jobs are a big part of the solution.”

Puerto Rico religious leaders, US religious bodies and Jubilee USA Network advocate returning manufacturing jobs to the island. In February, 20 major Puerto Rico and US religious leaders asked President Biden to act on their jobs proposal.

Last year, Puerto Rico religious leaders wrote Congress to support island pharmaceutical and personal protective equipment manufacturing to help fight COVID-19 and promote job growth. Then-President Trump expressed support for the measures. 

“We are grateful that Senators Menendez and Wicker are leading this bipartisan action that can support economic recovery and fight poverty,” stated LeCompte.

Read the Jubilee USA Puerto Rico and US Religious Leaders Letter to President Biden here.

Read the Puerto Rico Religious Leader Stimulus Letter to Congress here.

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Alabama political reporter features Eric LeCompte on lifting vaccine patents

Eric LeCompote was interviewed by the Alabama Political Reporter on the WTO's meeting this week to consider temporarily lifting vaccine patent protections. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story. 

WTO to meet to consider temporarily lifting vaccine patent protection

By Brandon Moseley 

The World Trade Organization is meeting to discuss waiving vaccine patents to make it easier for countries to access COVID vaccines. The global trade body will review the proposal to waive pharmaceutical vaccine patents as part of a menu of trade pandemic response policies.

Eric LeCompte is the executive director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. “Not enough vaccines are getting to developing countries,” said LeCompte. “Part of the solution is supporting countries to produce the vaccines that they and other countries desperately need.”

LeCompte is advocating on behalf of this proposal as well as others under consideration and debate this week at the WTO.

According to the United Nations, wealthy countries received 82 percent of the COVID-19 vaccine doses, while poor nations received less than 1 percent. LeCompte told APR that, “75 percent of the total vaccine dosages manufactured to date have gone to just ten countries – the wealthiest countries.”

 

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