Based in the United Kingdom, the Trade Justice Movement is a coalition of organizations, including trade unions, environmental and human rights campaigns, faith and consumer groups, aid agencies and fair trade organizations. Over 9 million people strong with 60 organizations, the coalition believes that everyone should be able to make a good living, feed their families and protect their environment. Simply put, they share a common goal: making international trade benefit the poor and the environment.
The Movement focuses its beliefs into three core modes of action. The first: ensure that governments in developing countries make the best choices in their efforts to reduce poverty and protect the environment. The second: bring an end to export-dumping that hurts the livelihoods of poor communities worldwide. The third: enact laws that stop companies from benefiting from the exploitation of people and the degradation of the environment.
The movement is governed by a board which is re-elected annually by Trade Justice members. Among the current board members is Penny Veness of Soroptimist International. It is a partner organization and one of many with extremely positive hopes for the world’s disadvantaged. It works toward a world in which women and girls can reach their full potential, make their aspirations reality and enjoy the right of an equal voice.
Over the past few weeks, the Trade Justice Movement has taken a stand against the Investor to State Dispute Mechanism, or ISDS. It’s a provision that gives companies disproportionate rights to sue governments at international tribunals. Currently, the European Union is considering the provision for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a new trade deal between the E.U. and United States.
The provision is already a highly-accessed component of the North American Free Trade Agreement, making Canada the country with the highest number of ISDS lawsuits in the world for a variety of different pieces of legislation, among which was an act to remove toxic chemicals from petrol. Another ISDS lawsuit pushed back against Canadian efforts to develop a solar panel industry and promote clean energy. The Trade Justice Movements has, in response to its possible inclusion in the Investment Partnership, called ISDS, “unnecessary, damaging and outdated.”
As the possible E.U.-U.S. agreement looms, the Trade Justice Movement will continue work to ensure that the exchange is a fair one for the world’s poorest and the environment that all of us need to survive.
– Rachel Davis