On the 16th of November, opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnershio (TPP) marched on the offices of the United States Trade Representative(USTR), blocked entrances for a while, and festooned the area with anti-TPP toilet paper. This sort of thing just had to happen sooner or later-TP’ing the TPP. As a “night action” it would have been a potent enough symbol, but this was done in the open while activists controlled both the sidewalk and that half of the street.
This is but the first action out of three days of action as the TPP begins the 90 day review before Obama can sign it and send it to Congress under the details of the “fast-track” legislation forcing a simple majority, no-amendments, limited debate vote in Congress. Protesters are demanding that ratification be either voted down or no vote scheduled at all. The deal includes extending patents on prescription drugs, especially what are known as “biologics.” Due to that, the same cancer patient who was arrested for raiding the site of the final TPP talks in Atlanta spoke in front of USTR as toliet paper fluttered in the breeze from the trees.
Also infuriating millions are provisions to force all TPP nations to accept genetically modified “frankenfoods” with prohibitions on labelling(“non-tariff barriers to trade”) along with all the usual race to the bottom, sweatshop-friendly limits on pro union and environmental regulations. One of the worst provisions is the expansion of NAFTA style investor lawsuits heard in corporate courts to the nations signing and ratifying this treaty. This would among other things expose the US and possibly Maryland to investor lawsuits from Sumitomo in Japan if the Cove Point LNG export plant for which Sumitomo is to be the main customer is blocked from completion or opening.
The TPP gets TP’ed