What now for the US-UK trade deal?

12 November 2020 — Global Justice Now

Over the last 4 years we’ve taken the secretive US-UK trade talks and built a movement of opposition. This movement has seen campaign actions by farmers and foodies, doctors and nurses, climate campaigners and activists working to protect our rights online.

We even made this toxic trade deal a general election issue last year. We’ve taken the government to court to challenge their obsessive levels of secrecy around their trade talks. And we took action all across the country last month to speak out. The result? The overwhelming majority of the British population do not want a US trade deal on the terms currently proposed.

We now have a new US president-elect. We still don’t know what Joe Biden will do with the US trade talks, but we hope he will place the need to tackle the coronavirus pandemic ahead of negotiating this awful deal. We know that many of our allies in the US will do all they can to convince him to drop the deal.

But we can’t relax just yet. Our own government has told us that most chapters of the deal are nearly complete. They are now in a race against time to get this deal over the line. What’s more, while Trump might be on his way out, the power of Big Agriculture, Big Pharma and Big Tech is still entrenched. And that’s what’s driving this deal.

So we can’t put away our placards. We need to keep taking action, keep campaigning.

For us, defeating a US trade deal was always one part of challenging our international trade system: a system which is fuelling climate change, boosting inequality and undermining democracy around the world.

In the coming months, we will expose the corporate drivers behind trade rules, and how they are fuelling climate change and preventing access to vital coronavirus medicines for those in the global south. We will also continue our fight for trade democracy, and work to underline the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which trade secretary Liz Truss wants us to join.

For now, I want to thank you so much for all your work in getting us to this stage. If you’ve got time, please read my latest piece in the Guardian which outlines where we are with the US trade deal. And, most important, keep going.

Nick Dearden

Director, Global Justice Now

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