Week of Protests Against Massive New Free Trade Agreement

Another round of negotiations for what is billed as the largest-ever free trade agreement takes place the first week of July in San Diego.   The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) will establish new rules for trade and investment impacting worker rights, health care, the environment, financial regulation, and consumers.  Negotiations originally involved the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam but Canada and Mexico are joining the negotiations, and Japan has also expressed interest.

The Citizens Trade Campaign has called for a week-long National Days of Action from July 1 to July 7 to draw attention to the negotiations, which are being conducted with little transparency.

On June 27, Rep. Rose DeLauro and Rep. George Miller released a letter signed by over 130 members of the U.S. House of Representatives calling on the Obama Administration’s U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to provide more transparency, arguing that  “the negotiations USTR is pursuing will create binding policies on future Congresses in numerous areas” including “labor, patent and copyright, land use, food, agriculture and product standards, natural resources, the environment, professional licensing, state-owned enterprises and government procurement policies, as well as financial, healthcare, energy, telecommunications and other service sector regulations.”

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch has labeled the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations as “NAFTA on Steroids,” in a recent article in The Nation by Lori Wallach who warns that the TPP could be the last trade agreement ever negotiated because it would allow other countries to join.