Trump wants UK National Health Service included in trade negotiations

Donald Trump’s visit to the UK was always going to be controversial. He has strongly supported Brexit, something that is dividing the UK. But Trump has upped the ante – he says that when US-UK trade takes start after Brexit (if it ever happens) he wants the UK National Health Service to be opened up to US companies.

Fortune: There’s One Subject in the U.K. That’s as Toxic as Brexit. Trump Just Waded Into It

Once, advocates of the U.K.’s departure from the European Union argued that Brexit would mean more government funding for the country’s National Health Service, or NHS.

Now, President Donald Trump has confirmed the opposite: in trade talks between the U.S. and U.K., which will take place once Brexit has gone into effect, the U.S. wants the U.K. to open up the cherished British public health system to American companies.

“I think everything with a trade deal is on the table… NHS and anything else, a lot more than that,” Trump said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday, on the second day of his state visit.

The president was responding to a question about whether he agreed with the U.S ambassador to the U.K., Woody Johnson, who said Sunday that he assumed the NHS “would be on the table” in the imminent trade talks, as the negotiations would account for the entire British economy. And his response has already elicited fury among leading politicians from across the British political spectrum.

The public nature of the NHS, which has been free to use for seven decades, is practically seen as sacred in the U.K., and attempts to change that status are politically toxic. A degree of privatization has been taking place in recent years, but NHS bosses want to reverse the process by squeezing out local for-profit contractors such as Virgin Care and Care U.K.

Further opening up the NHS to American contractors would therefore be an explosive political development. The U.S. ambassador’s comment prompted British Health Secretary Matt Hancock—one of the contenders for May’s job, as she is about to step down—to defend the health service in unequivocal terms.

However it’s hard to see much progress being made on US-UK trade talks at this stage. Brexit looks to be far from resolved, and the Prime Minister who Trump is meeting with, Theresa May, is soon stepping down. The NHS is likely to now feature in the contest for leadership of the Conservative party and the country.

RNZ: Trump praises ‘extraordinary’ US-UK alliance on state visit

US President Donald Trump has said the US and UK have the “greatest alliance the world has ever known”.

That’s what you would expect when the current leaders of the US and UK are the greatest the world has ever known.

The US president met Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage at the US ambassador’s residence, Winfield House. Mr Farage tweeted that it was a “good meeting” and Mr Trump “really believes in Brexit”.

Mr Trump also said he turned down a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn, who addressed protesters in Westminster. Mr Trump said Mr Corbyn was a “negative force”. “I really don’t like critics as much as I like and respect people who get things done,” he said.

Mrs May said the scope of trade talks had to be agreed by both countries.

Asked if the NHS would be included in post-Brexit trade talks, Mr Trump said “everything is on the table”.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock was among several Conservative leadership candidates hoping to replace Theresa May who said they would not allow the NHS to become part of any trade talks. “Not on my watch,” he tweeted.

Perhaps the US will play a Trump card – impose tariffs on the UK unless they hand their health system over to US companies.

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47 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  5th June 2019

    Most of few excerpts of Trump speeches & press conference efforts I’ve seen have been the usual kind of meaningless, ignorant, hyperbolic blithering he’s infamous for. It’s quite possible he doesn’t even actually know what the NHS is. Any trade deal involving Yrump is likely to see him screw them about like he does with everyone else. They had to put him up on a state visit sooner or later; it was unavoidable. Now they just need to shuffle him quickly out of the country as soon as possible.

    Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  5th June 2019

        His speech was appallingly arrogant and stupid…what does he take people for ? Doesn’t he realise that people see the news and will know that he’s lying ?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  5th June 2019

          I think he only watches Fox. Besides, he’s not necessarily always lying. Sometimes he doesn’t have a clue what he’s being asked about & rather than ask he just gives dumb answers.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  5th June 2019

            One looks a lot less stupid admitting that one doesn’t know than one does by making something up. His claims about the demos were, I think, lies – unless he was deluding himself. His supporters numbered a couple of dozen.

            He must know that it’s bad manners to go to a country on a state visit and slag off their politicians in an official speech in front of the reigning monarch, PM and the rest; how ignorant that looked.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  5th June 2019

              Yeah but that’s Trump. What a waste of time protesting about him on a state visit. Not to say an insult to their own head of state who’s gracious enuf to be pleasant & suck up to him as well as the Saudi King.

              Nobody elected the Saudi King. Don’t recall the streets being filled with protestors when he breezed in & got the red carpet treatment. The yanks elected Trump president. Even if he’s a narcissistic bozo best thing is to just get his state visit over & done with with a minimum of fuss & wave him goodbye asap.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  5th June 2019

              I am not a royalist, but I don’t see the Queen sucking up to him, just using common courtesy and not letting him see her wincing at his boorishness. What self-control she has.

              The Saudi King isn’t abusing UK politicians, trying to interfere with UK politics and being an objectionable oaf who keeps a woman in her 90s waiting until he deigns to arrive then barges into and in front of her, almost knocking her over. The patronising attitude displayed to the Queen and Theresa May is unbelievable.

            • Gezza

               /  5th June 2019

              Actually for Trump he was reasonably well-behaved this time round. The guy’s got the finesse of a New York taxi driver. But that’s who the yanks elected him so that’s who you’ve got & there ya go. Protesting against Trump won’t make a blind bit of difference to Trump. Why cause unnecessary policing expense. Should’ve just let him blow through, blow hard & breeze out.

              The hard work on any trade deal will be done by people who know what they’re talking about.

  2. Missy

     /  5th June 2019

    The problem with the NHS here is that people have very extreme views about it, and they have had decades of being brainwashed by Labour that it is either the current model or the American fully private model, so any suggestion of Americans wanting to have access to it is immediately jumped on as American companies wanting the UK to hand it over.

    The NHS is a political hot potato, any talk of reform is a vote loser and most believe the only option is to throw more money at it, despite it being a 1950’s model trying to work in the 21st Century, it is not fit for purpose.

    Listening to the analysts tonight most believe that what they most likely will be wanting in any future FTA is access to the health market in the UK, currently all EU companies have to be treated as British companies for any contracts for the NHS, basically no favoured nation status for British companies that isn’t extended to EU companies. So the general take on the comments that the NHS is ‘on the table’ is that the favoured nation status should be extended to US companies in bidding for contracts with the NHS, and for drug supply – basically what the EU currently has, however, the political spin by those who refuse to countenance any form of open discussion about the future of the NHS has kicked in and decided that what was meant is a wholesale sell off of the NHS. Aided and abetted by Corbyn and his rhetoric whipping up the hate against Trump.

    Reply
    • David

       /  5th June 2019

      Brilliantly put. The NHS is too big.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  5th June 2019

        Even if it does need reform I’d be very wary about letting Trump’s America First, Everywhere policy let US companies screw it over.

        Reply
        • Amen to that. Trumponomics is a fusion of impulsive, xenophobic lurches toward economic nationalism in some areas, and conventional regressive plutocratic GOP policies in others.

          Trump inherited a booming economy and has done nothingh to the economy. His only legislation passed is a tax cut that benefits the wealthy.The Federal Reserve is running the economy and the government is on automatic pilot and has been since he took office.

          Reply
          • Griff.

             /  5th June 2019

            Ah yes the tax cuts .
            All his supporters cheer loudly LOOK AT THIS.
            While at the same time intruding tariffs on imports that are one of the biggest real world tax increases the USA has ever seen

            Reply
      • Blazer

         /  5th June 2019

        ususual attempt to privatise Govt run agencies.It must be too big to fail!That’s good isn’t it?

        As for the dismal U.S model…who would wish that on anyone.

        Privatisation of public assets is really THEFT,nothing more,nothing less.

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  5th June 2019

      I’ve got no problem with Trump forcing American companies to make expensive products & making Americans pay more for them. But I’ve got a problem with Trump using trade deals to force other countries’ peoples buy expensive American products. countries need plenty of other trade options.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  5th June 2019

        look at his attitude to Huawei…how more anti free trade,anti competitive can you get!

        The ironies of Capitalism.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  5th June 2019

          Trump’s not interested in “fair trade”. Trump’s only interested in America First, Everywhere. Get a trade deal with the US & when it suits him he’ll ignore it.

          Reply
      • duperez

         /  5th June 2019

        He doesn’t want countries to prosper on the back using America but he wants American companies to take over the world supply of everything. Just making America great again I suppose.

        Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th June 2019

      When it comes to the NHS, I hope that he will be told to mnd his own damned business. Who the hell does he think he is, trying to interfere with the UK’s politics ?

      We all know that the NHS is flawed; what national health system isn’t ? But it’s not for some outsider to stonk in and tell the country where it’s going wrong. His arrogance is overweening; talk about Ozymandias.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  5th June 2019

        I tried to make a link to Ozymandias, but couldn’t. It’s online, of course.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  5th June 2019

      ‘being brainwashed by Labour ‘…talking about being ‘brainwashed’ ..just like Moggys children..you never had a..chance.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  5th June 2019

      So, Trump is saving Cuba from being exploited by hordes of US tourists?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  5th June 2019

        How can he do that ? I can’t believe that he can tell people where they can or can’t go for a holiday unless it’s a war zone.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  5th June 2019

          What if the people say that there is no law against it and tell him to go and chase himself ? The man’s a dictator.

          Reply
      • Gezza

         /  5th June 2019

        Decades of sanctions against Cuba produced zero change in Cuba’s politics or its involvement in other South American countries America wanted to change or contol. One brief period of relaxation of those caused a pretty significant expansion of private buiness ownership & legal entrepreneurial activity. Engagement seemed more likely to me to bring about rapproachment & long term change than reverting to hating on Cuba.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  5th June 2019

          the U.S are very sore losers..Castro’s defiance on their doorstep was a serious ‘bone of contention’ ..all these decades.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  5th June 2019

            While that’s true, Fidel was a crashing, rambling bore & an authoritarian pain in the arse. But he’s carked it now & the signs were good that the people were ready for more democratic evolution.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  5th June 2019

              what do you base your conclusions on?..have you been monitoring Castro for your entire ..life?

            • Gezza

               /  5th June 2019

              No. Have you?

              I watched a doco on Castro & Che a few months back. It included some interviews with some of his comrades from the early days when they got rid of Batista & the American mafia. Something I found interesting was claims that he wasn’t a communista, he was a Fidelista. And that he after getting rid of The Batista fegime he made several fruitless approaches to American diplomats seeking an accommodation & financial assistance but was completely rebuffed & it was only after those attempts failed & the Soviets offered assistance instead that he suddenly announced he was a communist.

            • Blazer

               /  5th June 2019

              that’s right ..so you are onside ..then! 😉

            • Gezza

               /  5th June 2019

              Castro holds the record for the longest speech ever delivered to the United Nations: 4 hours and 29 minutes, Sept. 26, 1960, according to the U.N. website. One of his longest speeches on record lasted 7 hours and 30 minutes, Feb. 24, 1998, after the national assembly re-elected him to a five-year term as president.

            • Blazer

               /  5th June 2019

              wonderful..if I have to compare him and his legacy to Bush,Blair,Bush jnr.Rumsfeld,Cheney,…I must say as far as as …humanity goes ..he wins by a ..cuntry..mile.

            • Blazer

               /  5th June 2019

              wonderful..if I have to compare him and his legacy to Bush,Blair,Bush jnr.Rumsfeld,Cheney,…I must say as far as as …humanity goes ..he wins by a ..cuntry..mile.

            • Gezza

               /  5th June 2019

              It was one of his comrades who said he was a bugger for interminably long speeches everyone just had to sit & listen to.

              But the guts of it sounded true. Typical US short-sighted foreign policy caused probably decades of unnecessary strife & hostility.

            • Gezza

               /  5th June 2019

              Well, I think you’re glossing over it. Plenty of executions & repression followed his accession to power & he was a dictator not a democrat. He orchestrated the list of executions & Che happily carried them out, according to the old timers, but they fell out. Fidel didn’t like not being numero uno & he wasn’t interested in spreading the revolution, like Che, he was only interested in running Cuba. Basically pushed Che out the door & abandoned him but made a big fuss when he got killed because Che was still popular with Cubans.

            • Blazer

               /  5th June 2019

              I don’t wonder who the U.S has killed/assassinated in the last 50 years…compared to any other ‘bad guys’…all done in the best possible..denial.

            • Gezza

               /  5th June 2019

              I see him as a small scale Mao Tse Tung really. Mao apparently did the same thing. Made several approaches to the US seeking to establish friendly relations very early on & got totally rebuffed because he was a communist & they panicked.

            • Blazer

               /  5th June 2019

              How on earth can anyone without half a brain understand that living your life in debt ,to owe an elite of our ‘betters’ compounding interest is not the recipe for a fulfilling and happy life..is beyond ..me!

            • Gezza

               /  5th June 2019

              Killing sparrows nationwide causes famines.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th June 2019

      I haven’t had dealings with the NHS, but have heard stories from Americans that verify what he says about their system.

      Reply
  3. “Donald Trump’s trade wars with China, Mexico and Europe have sent global investment tumbling, according to a World Bank report that forecasts worldwide growth this year will slip back to levels not seen since 2016.

    The Washington-based lender to developing world countries said in its half-yearly global health check that spiralling political uncertainty was to blame for a slowdown in trade and a collapse in investment spending that will push down GDP growth to 2.6% this year “before inching up to 2.7% in 2020”.

    The decision by the Trump administration to impose higher tariffs on Chinese imports and prolonged Brexit uncertainty were among a string of events to increase the World Bank’s policy uncertainty index to a record high.

    The report’s gloomy findings were echoed in a speech on Tuesday by the US Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, who pledged to take “appropriate” measures to protect the US economy from the impact of trade wars.

    In what was widely seen as a hint that the Fed could cut interest rates in the coming months if the US economy cools, Powell told a monetary policy conference in Chicago that the central bank was “closely monitoring the implications” of ongoing trade disputes.

    Stock markets tumbled last month as traders began to fear an escalation in Washington’s tit-for-tat with Beijing over import tariffs. Oil prices have tumbled and investors have piled into safe haven assets such as gold – with prices up 4% on Tuesday – and German sovereign bonds.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jun/04/trump-trade-wars-sent-global-investment-tumbling-world-bank

    “The automotive industry is bearing the brunt of trade-war crossfire again as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to slap tariffs of as much as 25% on goods from Mexico, a key production hub for carmakers from Mazda Motor Corp. to General Motors Co.

    Mexico is the largest source of U.S. vehicle and auto-parts imports, meaning tariffs would increase costs for virtually every major manufacturer. In late night tweets Thursday, Trump warned tariffs would start at 5% on June 10 and increase to 25% on Oct. 1 unless Mexico stops immigrants from entering the U.S. illegally.

    The world’s largest automakers — including Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG — lost $17 billion in market value in Friday trading. The Bloomberg World Auto Manufacturers Index slumped as much as 2.2% and ended the week at the lowest since July 2016”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-31/japanese-automobile-stocks-drop-on-trump-s-mexico-tariff-tweet

    No-one wins in trade wars and as long as President Trump is asleep at America’s economic wheel, the risk of another global financial crisis looms large.

    Reply
  4. lurcher1948

     /  5th June 2019

    That trump,he’s not a smart fella

    Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  5th June 2019

    Somebody has explained what the NHS is & Trump now says it’s not on the table.

    https://www.itv.com/news/2019-06-04/donald-trump-piers-morgan-good-morning-britain/

    Reply
  1. Trump wants UK National Health Service included in trade negotiations — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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