We need a new International Trade community to develop ‘Best in Class’ future model trade agreement and a mandatory clause in any trade deal under a future Labour government that will support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
For too long governments and politicians have allowed for one-way trade deals to be concluded behind closed doors on terms that give foreign investors power to sue governments if they believe that laws and policies may affect their profit potential - even if those laws are passed in the public interest.
Deals like TTIP have struggled to find any support amongst the public because of the dangerous risk to sovereignty and because people do not believe that anybody other than big business benefits from them.
That is why, today at Labour Party Conference, I have announced the launch of the Just Trading Community, bringing together like-minded politicians and legislators to work towards establishing a new model trade agreement that places, at its very heart, the protection, promotion and progression of workers’ rights, human rights, quality standards and environmental safeguards.
Labour knows that small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of this economy and yet they are too often ignored when it comes to negotiating international trade deals and in receiving the support necessary to expand into new export markets.
That is why I have also announced today that any future trade deal under a Labour government would incorporate a mandatory requirement that any country who wants to sign a trade agreement with the UK must set out a strategy for supporting our SMEs seeking to export to them.