On the 20th of April, unions members staged a march from the AFL-CIO’s DC headquarters to the office of the United States Trade Representative against the TPP. The TPP is a proposed NAFTA style trade deal that would affect about 40% of the world and whose terms the negotiating parties are attempting to keep secret.The march featured a giant Trojan Horse as a warning against this secret treaty and the Congressional “fast-track” bill.
On Thursday, the 16th of April, a “fast-track” bill for an up or down vote with no amendments was introduced in both houses of Congress. It is supported by a strange alliance of President Obama with much of the GOP, and opposed by most of Obama’s voting constituancy. One speaker at USTR claimed that EVERY union in the AFL-CIO is opposed to this bill. Elsewhere it is being reported that the AFL-CIO has made defeating the TPP their number one priority.
One of the chants at the April 20th “trojan horse” march was “TPP-flush it down!” A speaker in front of USTR said he’s just as soon trust a coyote with his last lamb chop than trust those behind the TPP with “our democracy.”
The Trojan horse had a brown paper wrapped box look to its body. Everyone in Congress knows not to accept a wrapped package without X-raying it, yet Congress is being asked to vote on the TPP (to take the brown box) without a look inside other than under tightly restricted conditions. If a member of Congress wants to read the text of the current TPP proposal, he or she is not permitted to take notes or bring any electronics into the room! All we know about this treaty is from leaked drafts posted to Wikileaks. Those drafts look like NAFTA, SOPA, and the failed MultiLateral Agreement on Investments from 1998 all rolled into one.
The TPP Trojan Horse, a plain brown box for Congress to vote on but not look inside
Final approach to USTR
Before the march: some of the union supporters blocked the doors of the US Chamber of Commerce
Trojan Horse at the US Chamber of Commerce