Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

tpp protest

Opponents of the new TPP protested in the streets of Santiago, Chile while the new trade deal was signed on Thursday. (Photo: Free Malaysia Today)

US Progressives Express Solidarity With Anti-TPP Protests as 11 Nations Sign Revised Corporate-Friendly Trade Deal

In Chile, critics took to the streets with signs declaring, "No to modern slavery, no to the TPP-11" and "The TPP and TPP-11 are the same!"

Jessica Corbett

As 11 nations signed a highly-contested Pacific Rim free trade agreement in Chile on Thursday, opponents from those countries voiced their dissent in protest while progressives allies in the United States—which isn't part of the pact—admitted that although they "dodged a bullet," global solidarity against such "corporate-dominated" deals remains as important as ever.

The "cynically renamed" Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership is a revision of the TPP—which President Donald Trump withdrew from just days after taking office—and includes all of the other original signatories: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

"We know from our years-long, internationally-coordinated TPP campaign that our sisters and brothers in those nations fought against the corporate-rigged TPP model as hard as we did," the U.S.-based group Public Citizen said Thursday. "We stand in solidarity with them as they continue to mobilize to block the ratification and implementation of this TPP-11 deal in their countries."

In Santiago, Chile, hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the new deal.

Protesters carried signs declaring, "No to modern slavery, no to the TPP-11" and "The TPP and TPP-11 are the same!" as they marched between the Defense Ministry and La Moneda Palace, the headquarters of the Chilean government, according to a report from the Latin American Herald Tribune. "We are going to continue fighting because it still must be approved after the vote," one activist told the outlet.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Newshub reports that protesters "dumped dozens of pillows, soft dog toys, and homemade rats" that featured messages such as "It's our children's future! We must protect it!" written in marker, outside of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Auckland office. Auckland TPP Action Group spokeswoman Chantelle Campbell said the pillows, "symbolize how the government has gone to sleep on the wider implications of the TPP."

Jacinda Ardern's office was quickly cleared of the mess on Thursday morning. Photo credit: Auckland TPP Action Group/supplied

In Christchurch, New Zealand, members from another of direct action group "stood in a wooden box cementing their feet into concrete outside Labour MP Ruth Dyson's office."

Earlier this year, when the Canadian government announced it would sign on to the new deal, it was met with notable opposition from the nation's labor unions.

Canadian Labor Congress president Hassan Yussuff noted that the pact has been widely unpopular since the negotitions in 2016, when the government consulted with laborers across Canada.

"Everywhere the government went, Canadians were clear that they opposed the deal because it would cost Canadian jobs and harm Canadian industries," Yussuff said. "It's clear that none of those issues have been resolved. This deal won't just undermine Canadian workers in its own right, but will undermine any possibility of a progressive strategy on NAFTA or any other trade deals." 

While the United States, Canada, and Mexico struggle to come to a revised agreement for NAFTA, Trump on Thursday signed new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum—despite warnings from his own cabinet that it could spark a trade war. Because the NAFTA talks are ongoing, the Trump administration has temporarily excluded its North American neighbors from the new tariffs.


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.

Watch: Bernie Sanders Argues 'We Must End the Greed of Big Pharma'

The live address comes as the Senate Budget Committee chair continues to push for including Medicare expansion and drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better package.

Common Dreams staff ·


Reconciliation Framework 'Not Enough' to Push Through Infrastructure Bill, Progressives Warn

"We need to have a vote ready for the Build Back Better plan, not a framework," insisted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "We want to have both of these votes together."

Brett Wilkins ·


McDonald's Workers Join 'Striketober' and Walk Out Over Sexual Harassment

One striker participated because "McDonald's still refuses to take responsibility for the countless women and teenagers who face harassment on the job at its stores across the globe."

Jessica Corbett ·


Breaking: FDA Panel Recommends Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for Kids 5 to 11

With just one abstention, the advisory panel voted 17-0 to approve the vaccine for younger children which scientific review has deemed both safe and effective against the deadly virus.

Common Dreams staff ·


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