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Stop the Toxic US Trade Talks: Campaigners take huge open letter to Secretary of State, Liz Truss

news release

**photos available following hand-in of open letter on Thursday**

Friends of the Earth has raised deep concerns about proceeding with trade negotiations with the US during the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is the worst possible time to try and conclude any kind of deal, particularly with the US.

Public opposition to the trade talks is so large that a bound book was needed to display over 116,000 signatures of people urging the Minister to formally halt trade negotiations and make a commitment that talks will not resume until the COVID-19 crisis has passed. 

This volume of names has been handed to the Secretary of State for International Trade today ahead of the next round of trade talks on the 27th of this month.

Hugh Knowles, co-chief executive of Friends of the Earth, said:

“The pandemic and the climate emergency should be our top priorities, not a trade deal for minor economic gain with a nation that refuses to even reference climate change in trade talks.

“Yet here we are, pressing ahead when neither Parliament nor Congress will be able to properly oversee negotiations and we lack laws to guarantee our standards and protect livelihoods. It does nothing to allay fears that the government will trade away our environmental protections to get a deal at any cost.”


For more information contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 / 07718 394786 (out of hours – please do not text this number) or by emailing  

Notes to editors

  1. Read the full text of the open letter here
  2. Friends of the Earth’s trade campaign is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery
  3. About Friends of the Earth: Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page. 

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