Trade threat is reason to join Trump protests, say campaigners

Friday, 27 April, 2018
  • Trump visit to include talks on secretive US-UK trade deal
  • 'No fawning welcome’ for US trade agenda opposed by 80% of British public

Campaigners have welcomed plans for mass protests against the visit of US President Donald Trump to the UK in July, and rejected warnings that a hostile reception could harm a US-UK trade deal. Global Justice Now, a member of the Stop Trump coalition, say the prospect of mass protests putting Trump off a US-UK trade deal should be actively embraced because of the threat to food standards and public services posed by such a deal.

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said:
“Let’s be clear: a trade deal with this man is not a ‘prize’, it would be a disaster. If mass protests against Trump’s visit also derail a trade deal, it will be a double success. The people of Britain are overwhelmingly opposed to the sort of trade deal Trump will offer, which promises chlorine chicken and a further privatised NHS among many other attacks on UK standards and protections.

“The sight of the Foreign Office already fawning over Trump’s visit is a humiliation. It reveals just how desperate the government is for any trade deal after Brexit, even one that sells the British people down the river.

“The demonstrations against Trump’s visit will be a carnival of resistance. We will be joining to take a strong stand against Trump’s racism, bigotry, misogyny, transphobia – as well as his ultra-corporate trade agenda. At a time when the UK government’s own treatment of immigrants has been shown to be Trump-like in its crude populism, let’s remember that Trump’s Muslim ban is still in place. In Britain as in the USA, this politics of hatred and division has no place.”

A recent poll for IPPR found that 82% of the British public would rather ditch a trade deal with the US than sacrifice decent food standards, while a separate poll of trade secretary Liam Fox’s constituents found over that 80% were also opposed to a trade deal allowing chlorinated chicken, hormone-injected cattle and other US food standards.
 
Discussions over a trade deal with Trump have already begun, with a US-UK trade working groups holding three sets of secret talks since last summer. Trade democracy campaigners argue that without significant amendments to the Trade Bill currently before parliament, MPs will have no way to prevent the UK signing up to such a trade deal against the public’s wishes.

Notes

  1. Public willing to sacrifice US trade deal to protect food safety
  2. Liam Fox’s own constituents strongly oppose US demands for trade deal - poll

Photo: White House