On the 7th of May, hundreds of people, many in CWA rain ponchos and umbrellas, showed up in front of the US Capitol to demand that Congress reject the proposed TPP or Trans-Pacific Partnership.
So-called “free trade” deals that globalize misery and exploitation have a long record of bringing people out in the streets rain or shine. It rained at A16 and it rained in Seattle, yet protesters there were able to forciby shut down the WTO talks on November 30, 1999. The road to Seattle began with mushrooming citizen opposition that killed trade deals like the MAI or Multilateral Agreement on Investments, one of those “global NAFTA”type deals. Now the TPP and companion TTIP Atlantic trade deals are another attempt to spread NAFTA’s misery across the globe.
The Speaker of the House and president of the Senate have both refused to place TPP “fast track” authority on the agenda after bills were introduced. One of the speakers at the protest noted that it takes 60 votes in the Senate to raise the minimum wage, yet fast-track would allow the TPP to pass by just 50 votes. He didn’t mention that under the TTP, a foreign company that had to pay more in wages in a US retail outlet could probably sue the US in the NAFTA-style “trade court” for the difference between their profits and their profits under the previous, lower minimum wage. Certainly such lawsuits would attend things like any Maryland ban on gas fracking or a refusal to permit turning the old Cove Point gas import terminal into an LNG export facility