Trump’s top ten trade hitlist: what a trade deal with Trump could really mean
14 September 2018
Trade secretary Liam Fox is still trying to push through his dangerous Trade Bill as quickly as possible.
The Bill has started its journey through the House of Lords and if it passes there unamended, Fox will have enormous power to sign a trade deal with Trump, or anyone else he likes, without proper democratic scrutiny. That’s frightening. Our research shows that chlorinated chicken and locking in privatisation of the NHS are just the tip of the iceberg if Fox and Trump get their ways.
Here are ten things we can expect from a trade deal with Trump.
1. Lock in privatisation of the NHS and public services
The US expects the NHS to be part of any trade deal we sign with them – US senators have said so. What’s more, a US-UK trade deal could prevent already privatised services, like energy or railways, from ever being brought back into public hands.
2. Corporate courts
The US is a huge fan of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), also known as ‘corporate courts’. These will allow US corporations to sue the UK for almost anything that threatens their profits – environmental protection, regulating finance, renationalising public services – you name it.
3. Slashing workers’ rights
Workers’ rights are just another form of red tape Trump isn’t a fan of. And ISDS will allow him to grossly undermine them in the UK. When it comes to labour standards and rights in the US, Trump has already employed a strategy of ‘delay and ignore’ by rejecting pleas to increase the scarily low federal minimum wage, and limiting the number of people receiving fair pay for overtime.
4. Financial deregulation
Trump hates ‘red tape’. It might help prevent another financial crisis but it doesn’t help billionaires line their pockets further. He’s already begun sweeping away Obama’s post-crash financial laws and his finance sector friends will almost certainly want the same for the City of London.
5. Selling your personal data
‘E-commerce’ rules will decide what tech giants like Amazon and Google can do with your private data. As a result, big corporations will have even more control over our lives and at the same time lock the global south out of the potential benefits of the digital economy.
6. Rolling back on climate progress
With a cabinet full of climate change deniers, Trump has already rolled back the tiny steps the US had made towards combatting climate change. We can expect Trump to push to get rid of existing restrictions on the trade of natural gas, as the US did in TTIP negotiations with the EU.
7. Weakening food and farming regulations
In a 400 page report, the US government has spelled out the UK food and farming regulations it considers to be ‘trade barriers’. It includes everything from the banning of washing chickens in chlorine, to regulations on the pesticides used on your vegetables.
8. More chemicals in your cosmetics
The EU currently bans the use of 1,382 harmful substances for use in cosmetic products. The US bans just 11. A US-UK trade agreement on cosmetics could lead to hundreds of dangerous substances being approved for use in the UK.
9. Scrapping nutritional labelling
Urged on by food and soft-drink corporations, Trump is also keen to limit consumer health warnings on junk food. Big business profits come before health for Trump’s US, as was aptly shown when the US blocked a recent UN resolution to “protect, promote and support breastfeeding”.
10. Turbo-charging economic inequality
By extending corporate power at the expense of people and planet, a US-UK trade deal is a recipe for global inequality. By pushing the deregulated, ‘market knows best’ system it will entrench poverty and growing inequality around the world. In a 400 page report, the US government has spelled out the UK food and farming regulations it considers to be ‘trade barriers’. It includes everything from the banning of washing chickens in chlorine, to regulations on the pesticides used on your vegetables.
Help us prevent a trade deal with Trump
We've already built up huge pressure on the government in recent months to amend the new Trade Bill before it's passed into law. In July we came to within just 30 votes of securing an amendment that would have helped give us a truly transparent and democratic process for trade deals. Now we have another opportunity in the House of Lords.
We can still stop Fox’s cunning plans. But right now, the campaign is on a knife-edge.
If you've supported our campaign for trade democracy – thank you! If you haven't yet, there’s still time to help ramp up the campaign by donating today: