Reports International Trade for the Common Good

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International Trade for the Common Good

This paper outlines five principles that the UK government must consider for each of its future trade deals, if it is to ensure that the world’s poorest people are at the very heart of UK trade policy. They are to:


1 Strengthen democracy by committing to transparent
and open consultation, enhancing parliamentary
scrutiny and subjecting all trade agreements to full
democratic accountability. All agreements should
support both the UK and developing countries in
meeting international commitments.


2 Support small business by creating an enabling
environment that promotes a level playing field for
the world’s poorest people. The UK should also offer
immediate, non-reciprocal market access for the
poorest countries and grant favourable access for poor
non-LDC countries.


3 Promote mutual benefit by taking into account the
potential benefits and costs of our trade arrangements
for third parties. The UK should ensure that no trade
deal has an adverse environmental, economic or social
impact on developing countries.


4 Uphold dignity of work by supporting an economic
and business model that centres on human dignity,
protecting workers and their rights in the work place as
well as supporting family and community life. The UK

should support companies to be values-led and ensure
that all trade deals strengthen existing environmental,
labour and human rights standards, encouraging a race
to the top.


5 Care for Creation by integrating social and
environmental sustainability objectives into economic
policies and practices in line with the SDGs and Paris
Agreement, and ensuring that all trade deals are bound
by these national and international commitments.

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Published March 2017 by CAFOD

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