“It is now many years now since the Fair Trade movement was established, recognising the importance of giving producers a fair price for their goods and enabling countries to develop economically through trade rather than aid. However the USA has retained some protectionist policies which have been detrimental to developing countries: now that we are talking about an EU-USA trade agreement, we should use this as an opportunity to look again at our trade practices and put pressure on the US to phase out their protectionism, and create a more level playing field for developing countries.
There has been considerable anger recently over the way big companies run rings round us with their aggressive tax avoidance tricks;, we should match our efforts to clamp down on their immoral off-shoring of profits from our own countries with help for developing countries to do likewise.
We spend millions in developing countries, so we should also be using our power of procurement more effectively, demanding from the companies which supply us, greater transparency in their financial affairs, full compliance with safety standards and a clear commitment not to discriminate against any sector of society.
To sum up, we need fair trade agreements, fair tax compliance and fair treatment of the workers who supply us with goods.”