Today our organisations will meet Secretary of State for International Trade Dr. Liam Fox MP for the first meeting of the Government’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group. Together we represent the views of 300,000 businesses large and small, 5.5 million working people, 1.66 million producers in developing countries and consumers across the UK.
Trade can be a powerful tool to increase and share prosperity in the UK and around the world. But the public debate in this area - almost exclusively on Brexit or the merits of possible new free trade agreements - says very little about how trade can benefit the whole of society. Today is an opportunity to press the reset button and show how trade can work for all when trade unions, businesses and civil society work in partnership with government.
Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, together we must build a trade policy which:
- Helps every region and nation of the United Kingdom to grow, raise living standards, promote good jobs and fair pay
- Upholds and enforces international labour standards, human rights and protects our public services
- Maintains and, ideally, enhances consumer rights and standards
- Promotes international development, with continued high ambition on foreign aid and delivery of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Ensures fair, transparent dispute resolution
- Reinforces our global reputation for environmental stewardship, diversity & inclusion
We are committed to working with each other – and with all politicians – to achieve these goals and draw up practical guidance to make them a reality. This is the best way of creating an inclusive trade policy for the UK that workers, businesses and communities will benefit from.
The Fairtrade Foundation