Fight the UK-US Trade deals

The government is working on very dangerous trade talks with the US. Civil society groups in both countries believe  that new deals could privilege corporate profits at the expense of the environment, consumer safety, public health and worker rights.

An extra worrying feature is that we’re told the talks will be totally secret and will remain so for 5 years

Watch this short video from Global Justice Now

An online rally was held on 24th Oct . If you missed it:: watch the  recording of the rally ( 57 minutes) here  to listen to some excellent speakers sharing why we need to be very worried.

We need to get the message out . So how about sending this Quiz to everyone you know to get them thinking and taking action to stop the deal.

Or the recording of the Trade Deal rally on 24/10. Listen to some excellent speakers sharing why we need to be very worried

 

 

Try this Quiz: Guess the Difference between US and UK safety regulations and medicine costs

 Question 1

How many rat hairs do US food regulators allow in 25g of cinnamon?

  1. none
  2. two
  3. seven
  4. eleven

 

Question 2

How many more times the level of the insecticide malathion can apples sold in the US contain, compared to apples sold in the UK?

  1. same
  2. 11 times,
  3. 400 times
  4. 1000 times

Malathion has been linked to cancer and it can impair the respiratory system and cause confusion, headaches and weakness.

 

Question 3

Over 1,300 toxic ingredients have been banned from use in cosmetics in the UK, with restrictions of another 500 ingredients. How many ingredients are banned in the US?

  1. 1,300
  2. 642
  3. 11
  4. none

 

Question 4

The NHS spent £1.39bn on the 50 most expensive medicines used in primary care in 2018. How much does the Royal Society of Medicine calculate it would have had to spend if it had paid US prices?

  1. same
  2. £2.78bn
  3. £4.53bn
  4. £6.42bn

 

Answers

Question 1) 

D – Eleven rat hairs are allowed in 25g cinnamon

 

Question 2)

C – Apples sold in the US can contain 400 times the level of malathion allowed in the UK

 

Question 3)

C – Only eleven ingredients are specifically prohibited in cosmetics in the US

 

Question 4) 

D – The 50 most expensive medicines used by the NHS in primary care in 2018 would have cost £6.42bn – over £5bn more.  ( the drug pictured – SOVALDI – Typically costs $81,000 for 30-day supply: Treats Hepatitis C.)

 

What next?

Accepting  the US standards and US medicine pricing policies (all driven by big corporations) is likely to be part of the price of a Trade Deal with the US.

Another big concern is the introduction of a system of corporate courts. These enable investors to sue Governments whose policies threaten to reduce profits of investors. Policies might include those which local people want like a higher minimum wage or better environmental protection. This would make pursuing our climate change goals and a green recovery extremely difficult.

Do we really want to “Take back control” only to give it away to the big us corporations?

Find out more at https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/

Get the Ebook: “Trade Secrets” for a readable in-depth analysis of how a US deal could affect our food safety standards, NHS, our privacy  and our ability to stop climate change. https://tradesecrets.globaljustice.org.uk/ebook/?_ga=2.184313263.888972227.1603301135-467776059.1582476989

Sign the petition:

https://act.globaljustice.org.uk/no-toxic-trade-deal-trump

Take Action  -lots of ideas here

For communities, groups, individuals (E.g. – Stick a poster in your front window – Download it here;

Watch the recording of the rally

Write a letter – sample provided- and much more)

AND – MOST IMPORTANTLY – TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT IT

How about sending this “quiz” to your friends? – most people enjoy a quiz or a game – so it’s a great way to start a conversation.

 

Can we win this?

Every time the government makes a promise to take something off the table in the trade deal, that reduces the deal’s value to the corporate lobbyists behind it. If we’re successful, first the agribusiness companies aren’t going to be able to sell low animal welfare products, then the healthcare giants aren’t going to get increased access to the NHS, and next Big Pharma aren’t going to be able to charge more for medicines. The same could go for chemical companies, digital platforms or energy corporations. If we can force the government to make commitments on as many areas as possible, and keep the pressure up to hold them to those promises, then eventually the deal becomes more trouble than it is worth.

Basically, if we punch enough holes in the deal then it collapses under its own weight. We need people in every town and city to be putting out the word and pulling people in to active opposition. Together we can make this deal so toxic that the government can no longer swallow it.

Quotes 

“The climate crisis demands a wholesale transformation of status quo trade policy. Any trade agreement worth enacting must support — not undermine — action on climate change. It must include binding climate standards, including a requirement for each country to fulfill the Paris Climate Agreement, so that corporations cannot shift their climate pollution to countries with lower standards. And it must entirely exclude the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system that corporations have used to challenge climate policies.”

–Ben Beachy, Director of the Sierra Club’s Living Economy Program

“Today, high prescription drug prices force people to choose whether to take the medicines they need, to ration, or simply go without needed treatments in order to be able pay for other necessities like food and shelter. The recent coronavirus pandemic has held a magnifying glass to the inequality of our healthcare system. This immoral system is further entrenched by powerful companies that use complicated trade negotiations to lock in current U.S. drug policies and prevent Congress from taking reasonable steps to curb drug price gouging and export our bad policies to our trade partners. A U.S.-UK deal should leave the National Health Service off the table and exclude terms that would raise drug prices in either country.”

–Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

“We cannot allow U.S.-UK negotiations to produce yet another ‘free trade’ deal that empowers multinational corporations to pursue their global deregulation agenda. Such deals undermine government policies that protect local farmers’ livelihoods, help countries maintain food self-sufficiency and preserve the environment for future generations. We caution against any provisions that threaten safe food, clean water, and common-sense consumer labeling.”

–Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch

“Our approach to trade policy needs to be fundamentally overhauled to benefit working families, not just the executives and large shareholders of multinational corporations. This is especially true in this moment, when workers worldwide face unprecedented threats to their ability to earn a living. Any new trade deal, including with the United Kingdom, must include stronger protections for workers, not increased incentives for corporations in search of the lowest wages and weakest labor standards. Workers in call centers and other industries are tired of agreements that enable corporations to pit American workers against workers in other countries in a race to the bottom, instead of raising wages and standards for all workers and creating good jobs here in the U.S.”

–Dan Mauer, Director of Government Affairs, Communications Workers of America (CWA)

“Fixing an existing bad deal like NAFTA to try to reduce its ongoing damage is different from creating a good trade pact from scratch. A good U.S.-UK agreement would be about production, not deregulation with trade terms that benefit workers and farmers in both countries and protect the environment, but none of the corporate giveaways found in past pacts that undermine financial regulation and food and product safety and empower monopolistic online firms to threaten our privacy and dodge accountability for selling us fake and dangerous products.”

–Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

“If the UK is to act on the environmental and social crises we face, or lead international climate talks with integrity, we cannot chase a trade deal with a nation that is abandoning climate commitments and defending polluting industries. Rules that prevent overuse of vital antibiotics on livestock or stop dangerous pesticides being sprayed on our food cannot be traded away in a US deal. Now is not the time to be putting the standards that protect our health and environment on the line.”

–Kierra Box, Friends of the Earth EWNI

“The Government has failed to convincingly set out what it hopes to achieve through a US-UK trade deal, despite the risks it could pose to the environment, food standards and public health. It is difficult to see how the deal is consistent with our climate change commitments, especially the goal of net-zero by 2050. The deal poses severe risks to UK agriculture and food standards, which the Government has refused to protect in law. And the deal threatens the NHS and medicines pricing – a key priority for US negotiators.”

–David Lawrence, Trade Justice Movement

“Our precious and beloved NHS must not be ‘on the table’ in trade negotiations with the US. We don’t believe our Prime Minister when he says it isn’t. Trump wants to make profits from our valuable patient data, let US-based companies take over providing some NHS services, deprive our universal and comprehensive service of its controlled drug costs and flood our markets with unhealthy food and drink. More and more private companies – especially US ones – already profit from our NHS. Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) wants a complete re-nationalisation of the National Health Service. Trade – especially in health – should be in the public interest, not for private enrichment. No public service should be ‘tradeable’’ within trade deals.”

–John Puntis, Keep our NHS Public

“Coronavirus has exposed the flaws in the pro-corporate agenda that this trade deal is intended to entrench – from weakening public services, to bringing the market into health care, driving up medicine prices and lowering safety standards. Whatever Johnson and Trump’s rhetoric, the deal will have very little impact in getting the real economy going again. The most optimistic estimates predict at most a fraction of a percent in growth. All this type of deal will do is tie the hands of the government at a time when they need full scope to provide economic stimulus, a green recovery and to protect jobs.

–Jean Blaylock, Global Justice Now

Read more https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/campaigns/trade-justice