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A follow-up from the Civil Society Trade Lab, which took place 26th June 2017, jointly organised by 10 organisations: Transport & Environment, the European Trade Union Confederation, Friends of the Earth Europe, European Digital Rights, ClientEarth, the Eurogroup for Animals, the European Public Health Alliance, Greenpeace, the Center for International Environmental Law and the Fair Economy Alliance.

Introduction

  • The international exchange of goods, services and people can help make the world a more open and connected place. However, trade must no longer be an end in itself, but a means to achieve social and environmental objectives which keep us within our planetary boundaries.
  • Given current global challenges, international or multilateral environmental treaties, labour standards, animal welfare, health commitments and human rights agreements – with principles of equality and intergenerational responsibility at their heart – must take precedence over trade concerns.

Therefore,

  • We call for a rebalancing of trade and investment rules. Any agreement must support decent work and wages, be compatible with the development of new and fair economic models, human rights, biodiversity protection, public health objectives, high animal welfare standards, binding obligations for corporations, regulation against tax fraud and with global commitments such as the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • We call for trade and investment agreements to safeguard the precautionary principle, to guarantee the upkeep of high standards – and to ensure the
    unhindered development of future standards and public policy measures.
  • We call for trade and investment agreements to take the specific needs of the Global South into account. They must ensure the protection of indigenous peoples and community rights; guarantee policy flexibility for measures needed to develop domestic economies; and for the regulatory and policy space required to protect food sovereignty, biodiversity and cultural differences.
  • We call for full transparency at all stages of the negotiation process: negotiation mandates, proposals and final texts should all be made publicly accessible.

The Demand of EPHA for a progressive Trade Policy [1]

“Trade policy must not threaten – or impede – European and global efforts to

reverse the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases and obesity through

preventative measures, or the development and promotion of standards to

reduce antimicrobial resistance, a cross-border challenge especially relevant to

trade.”

[1] http://www.tradelab.eu/follow-up/

Zoltán Massay-Kosubek

Policy Coordinator for Healthy Trade and Health Equity

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