Protestors voice fears on US trade deal

| 4th December 2019
Protestors dressed as chickens march against US president Donald Trump

Protestors dressed as chickens march against US president Donald Trump

Global Justice Now
US president Donald Trump’s climate change denial, plans for the NHS and food standards were all targets of a march in London this week.

We reject Trumpism in Britain and the USA, and we reject Trump’s plans for our NHS and country.

Campaigners took to the streets in a march led by NHS nurses and doctors as Donald Trump attended a reception for Nato leaders at Buckingham Palace.

More than 1,000 marchers representing a coalition of groups including Keep Our NHS Public, Global Justice Now, Stop Trump Coalition and the UK Student Climate Network gathered to oppose the US position on a future trade deal with the UK, in the wake of the last week’s leaked trade negotiation documents.

These revealed that the US administration wants to access parts of the NHS, including longer patents for drugs, which the campaigners say would prove an “existential threat to universal healthcare” by raising costs for the NHS.

Climate change refusal

The leak also revealed that the US will refuse to reference climate change in the deal. After the UK representative in the talks inquired about including climate change, the US counterpart “responded emphatically that climate change is the most political (sensitive) question for the US, stating it is a ‘lightning rod issue’", and that there was a ban bound by congress on mentioning greenhouse gas emission reductions in trade deals.

The protestors also wanted to highlight Trump’s desire for market access for US food products made to much lower standards than in the UK, such as chicken washed in chlorine. This will be bad for UK farmers and citizen’s health, they said.

Shaista Aziz, from Stop Trump Coalition, said: “Trump has already referred to his chum Boris Johnson as ‘Britain’s Trump’, which is why many people will be protesting Trump’s return to Britain on the eve of one of the most important elections in British history. We reject Trumpism in Britain and the USA, and we reject Trump’s plans for our NHS and country.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated that the NHS would not on the table in a future US trade deal, and has also said the UK was “not keen” on chlorinated chicken.

This Author

Catherine Early is a freelance environmental journalist and chief reporter for The Ecologist. She can be found tweeting at @Cat_Early76.

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