UK shows worries about US environmental dumping

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    The UK government asks for a level playing field in the ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement it is aiming for with the US. It is less forceful than what the EU is asking from the UK, but it indicates that the government is worried about getting too close to the US and losing some environmental and labour protection.

    The adopted negotiation approach mentions the need to “secure appropriate provisions that promote open and fair competition”, which resembles the EU’s level playing field requirements. More specifically, on trade in services the UK asks for “ambitious commitments on market access and fair competition”. On competition law, the UK wants an ambitious chapter, with similar wording to the mandate with the EU.

    The UK government says the agreement will ensure high environmental and social standards and protections. The deal should also have appropriate mechanisms for the implementation, monitoring and dispute resolution of environmental and labour provisions. This is completely different from the UK negotiation mandate with the EU, where it specifically states that environmental and labour provisions should not be subject to the dispute resolution mechanism.

    An impact assessment backing the negotiation approach with the US finds that the UK outperforms the US in most environmental indicators, such as climate and energy, water resources, biodiversity protection and air pollution.

    The UK’s approach to trade negotiations with the US

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