A Real and Present Danger From New Trade Negotiations

Trade negotiations are not just about imposing or removing tariffs. They are also about removing unnecessary barriers to trade. Asbestos Support Central England is concerned that, when we are negotiating new trade agreements, we will be asked to accept the same rules that apply in other countries.

The implications for trade with the USA

Asbestos is not yet banned in the United States of America. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows companies to receive case-by-case approval for using asbestos in their products. Also, the EPA does not require them to disclose on the label how much asbestos is made, imported and added to their products. The guiding principle is that “reporting is not required for ‘naturally occurring chemical substances.” This is so controversial that nearly a dozen US states are suing their own government for failing to impose tighter regulations. [1]

Will the UK join a race to the bottom?

The United States is just one country with whom we are trying to negotiate. Asbestos Support Central England is concerned that the UK government will join a race to the bottom.

Will we be asked to accept the removal of our ban on importing products that contain asbestos? And, if that happens, will imported products need to have a label saying what they are made from? If imports don’t need to be labelled, consumers will lose the right to choose whether they put themselves in danger.

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