Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Progressives united outside the Capitol building on Wednesday in a rally against the TPP. (Photo: Rachel LaBruyere/ Twitter)

Progressives united outside the Capitol building on Wednesday in a rally against the TPP. (Photo: Rachel LaBruyere/ Twitter)

Progressives Unite in Call Against 'Horrific' TPP

Protesters demand 'economy for all' and end to secretive and unjust trade deals

Lauren McCauley

Braving thunder and rain, hundreds of protesters rallied outside of the Capitol building in Washington DC on Wednesday to declare to the government that "the entire progressive movement is united" in the call to reject unjust trade deals and embrace an economy for all.

"They say 'Fast Track!' We Say 'Fight Back!'" the group chanted, referring to recent efforts by President Obama to push through legislation to cement the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, or TPP, without congressional deliberation. Thus far, the details of the deal have been negotiated behind closed doors, with the only information made available to the public via leaks.

Under the banner "Fair Trade is Not Free," a diverse coalition of environmental organizations, good government groups, farm groups, and over a dozen unions took part in the protest, carrying umbrellas and placards, which read: "Stop Secret Trade Deals."

"Let's show Congress that the entire progressive movement is united in the fight for a 21st century global economy that works for everyone," declared the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which organized the rally.

The TPP has been blasted by critics for undermining labor and environmental standards, as well as the open Internet. "The TPP is a horrific thing," said Kian Frederick, national field director for Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. "There's something for everyone to hate."

Frederick, who attended the action, told Common Dreams that she believed the aspect of the deal with the most potential harm is the Investor State Dispute Resolution, which grants global corporations state status, much like NAFTA, allowing them to sue a country for supposed loss or damages if they amend their laws. However, according to Frederick, the TPP goes a step further by allowing a corporation to sue for the loss of future expected profits.

"It's an absolute race to the bottom," Frederick declared, citing the myriad ways a government will be handcuffed to old legislation: food safety standards, environmental standards, labor laws. "If we go through with it, taxpayer money will all be recouped by the corporations."

Public Citizen is hoping the rally draws attention to an upcoming congressional vote on whether to eschew legislative authority and "Fast Track" the trade deal without deliberation or input. The vote will likely occur after the midterm elections.

Speaking before the crowd, Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President of AFL-CIO America, declared: "This is what solidarity looks like!" Gebre was joined by other speakers including Reps. Rosa deLauro (D-Conn.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Mike Michaud (D-Me.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).

_____________________


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'This Cannot Happen': Biden DHS Seeks Contractor for Migrant Detention Center at Guantánamo Bay

The solicitation for bids—which requires some guards who speak Spanish and Haitian Creole—comes as the administration is under fire for mass deportations of migrants, including thousands of Haitians.

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Vaccine Goals 'Fall Terribly Short' Due to Big Pharma and Rich Nations' Greed: Experts

"Wealthy nations are using up the world's vaccine supply, and developing nations are suffering and losing thousands of people every day."

Brett Wilkins ·


11 Senators Support House Progressives' Push to Pass Full Biden Agenda

"We voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill with the clear commitment that the two pieces of the package would move together along a dual track."

Jessica Corbett ·


Ex-Prisoners Recall US Torture at 'Afghanistan's Abu Ghraib'

"It is psychologically hard for me to recall all that was happening," said one former Bagram Air Base inmate. "The torture was mostly done by Afghans, sometimes the Americans. But the orders came from the U.S."

Brett Wilkins ·


Rapid Shift to Electric Vehicles Could Create Over 150,000 Jobs in US by 2030

A new report says "smart" pro-labor policies by lawmakers would transform the "inevitable" shift to EVs "into a new beginning for U.S. producers and the rebuilding of a foundation for good jobs."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo