Why Trade Justice?

Trade has always been part of society and in itself can be a good thing. But trade deals are no longer just about selling more goods to other countries. Instead, they are often about giving huge new powers to big business, affecting every aspect of society from our public services to online privacy, from environmental protection to food standards.

We are campaigning to ensure trade deals work for people and planet. We are doing this by fighting for the parliament at Westminster and the Scottish parliament to have the powers to scrutinise and approve future trade deals and by challenging future UK trade deals and making sure they put people and planet before corporate profit.

Read about our latest campaign to stop corporate courts blocking climate action here


An ethical trade policy

Rather than being for the benefit of big business, trade could be used as a force for good around the world. We envision trade which prioritises people and planet above profit. As a coalition we have developed a set of principles for an ethical trade policy to outline what we think ethical trade policy should look like.

For more information read the Just Principles for Trade policy briefing.


Trade deals after Brexit

Now we have left the EU, the UK government can negotiate trade deals on its own. Government ministers have been flying around the world to lay the groundwork for future trade deals with countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Philippines and the US.

These talks are being held in secret and, as things stand the Scottish parliament will have no opportunity to scrutinise the deals being negotiated even though they might impact policies devolved to Scotland, such as food safety, animal welfare and the environment. We need to ensure that the public, and our elected representatives have a chance to scrutinise and approve future trade deals. 

The Trade Justice Scotland Coalition lobbied the UK government to demand legislation that enables a democratic and transparent framework for future trade deal negotiations. When the trade bill was being debated at Westminster we argued for clauses that would increase democratic scrutiny – even just the basics such as allowing MPs to debate and vote on new deals. So far we have been unsuccessful – but the fight continues!



Find out more/take action

The latest on taking action to urge the UK to exit the Energy Charter Treaty

Watch Greta Thunburg speak out against the Energy Charter Treaty

Find out more about how corporate courts in trade deals block climate action by watching this webinar


Read about how trade deals might impact on everyday concerns in Scotland here