Why Trade Justice?

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.

Trade campaigners outside Holyrood

Photo: Trade justice coalition campaigners promoting trade democracy outside Holyrood

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

Following Brexit, the UK government can negotiate trade deals. 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 the Scottish Government has no powers to scrutinise the deals they negotiate even though they might impact on the devolved law-making powers our elected MSPs have been granted. We need to ensure that the public, and our elected representatives have a chance to scrutinise and approve future trade deals. At the moment, after Brexit, neither the parliament at Westminster or the Scottish parliament has powers to scrutinise and approve trade deals that will be negotiated by the UK government after Brexit.

The Trade Justice Scotland Coalition are lobbying the UK government to demand legislation that enables a democratic and transparent framework for future trade deal negotiations.


No toxic trade deal with Trump!

The UK government is now free to negotiate a trade deal with Donald Trump.

A free trade deal between the US and the UK is likely to include all the elements that made the earlier trade negotiations between the EU and the US on TTIP so controversial, but in a more extreme form – TTIP on steroids:

  • ‘Regulatory Harmonisation’, meaning lower food standards and chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves
  • ‘Corporate courts’ that allow foreign corporations to sue governments outside of the national legal system to challenge things like environmental protection or public health policy.
  • Locking in privatisation of public services, including of the NHS.
  • Undermining our climate commitments.

The Trump administration’s ‘America first’ economic nationalism is leading the most powerful country in the world to tear up international rules for its own self-interest and threaten trade wars.

We can’t let that happen.

Take Action

The UK government is currently negotiating trade deals with countries around the world in secret, and without any proper democratic mandate. The Trade Justice Scotland Coalition is campaigning to bring these deals into the open with the Scottish parliament and Scottish citizens given a voice in what these deals contain and the power to stop any deal that would be bad for people and planet.

You can get involved by:

Signing the petition against a bad UK/US trade deal.

Order a #TrumpInYourTrolley activist pack and take action at your local supermarket to raise awareness about the dangers of a US-UK trade deal.

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