Briefings Submission to the International Trade Committee inquiry on trade and the Commonwealth: developing countries

Briefings
READING TIME 15 minutes mins

Submission to the International Trade Committee inquiry on trade and the Commonwealth: developing countries

  • The UK government should use the development of its independent trade policy to improve its trade and development policy so that it has the best possible outcomes for developing countries.
  • The EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are extremely contentious and continue to pose serious risks to developing countries’ economies and development objectives.
  • Therefore, rather than seeking to replicate the EPAs, the UK should extend the unilateral preferences that it currently provides for least developed countries (LDCs) to other developing countries.
  • Beyond this, the UK should also ensure its trade arrangements support developing countries’ poverty reduction and development agendas.
  • To do this trade arrangements must be compatible with the UK’s commitments under international law, including human rights law, ILO standards on labour rights, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), environmental law and the Paris Climate Agreement 2015.
  • Trade deals should not include controversial issues such as services, especially public services, intellectual property and government procurement and should enable developing countries to use the full suite of policy tools to support economic diversification, the transition to value-added production and the development of decent jobs.

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Published March 2018 TJM

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