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CAMPAIGNERS warned today that Donald Trump losing the presidency will not kill off the prospect of a trade deal between the United States and Britain threatening the NHS and public health.
Global Justice Now said that people should not be “fooled” by Joe Biden’s victory, which may work in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s favour by diminishing opposition to a toxic agreement.
Director Nick Dearden said: “Trump’s defeat is a major setback for Johnson, but this is not the end of chlorinated chicken.
“For Trump, a US-UK trade deal was about weakening the EU. Biden isn’t interested in that.
“But the US corporate interests that lay behind Trump have not gone away and if the trade talks continue, chlorinated chicken and higher drug prices for the NHS are still in the interests of US big business, so they’re still on the table.
“It was the Obama-Biden administration which pushed the toxic Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal, an EU-US trade deal which sparked controversy across Europe. So even if Britain has gone to the back of the queue, we’re still queueing for the slaughterhouse.
“In fact, Biden’s victory could benefit Johnson if opposition to the US trade deal now melts away. The US trade deal has become a high-profile political issue in recent years, with considerable social movements on food standards and the NHS building up.
“If Johnson can persuade the public those threats have gone away with Trump, it could be easier for a trade deal to get through. People shouldn’t be fooled.”
Concerns over the future of the NHS were also raised by Keep Our NHS Public campaigners.
Gay Lee, a retired nurse and member of the organisation – which has a working group on the issue – warned against any pause in campaigning against the British-US trade negotiations “just because Biden’s won,” as the “global business lobby is still at work.”
She said: “The only thing we probably have is a bit more time to campaign effectively and to keep the issue in the public sphere, because it’s probably not top of Biden’s priority list.
“The next fight is to get amendments to the trade Bill – nearing the end of its journey through the Lords – which will definitively keep the NHS off any negotiating table and give the Commons a chance to scrutinise and vote on all future trade agreements.”
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