Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sneak TPP meeting inspires Canadian protest

Negotiations involving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been super secret since the beginning, but at least we knew when and where they were taking place. Evidently that was too much transparency for some.

Representatives from 11 Pacific Rim nations held an unannounced meeting in Vancouver this past weekend to help set new investment rules. Taking a page out of the movie "Animal House," it was set up using a "double-secret" protocol that barred anyone outside those involved to know about its existence. That is, until the Peruvian media went and ruined it last Friday.

Word of the event slowly trickled out from there. Thankfully, activists with several fair trade and environmental groups showed up and protested this latest slap at workers who have much to lose from the TPP's implementation. Kristen Beifus of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition said it is time to open up the process.
It's long past time to end the silence on the TPP. It's outrageous that this investor rights treaty is being developed behind closed doors. What they are negotiating will impact all of us, just as NAFTA has for 20 years, and we deserve to know what is being negotiated in our name.
rabble.ca reported on the action:
Activists from the Washington and Oregon Fair Trade Coalitions, as well as Occupy Bellingham and the Backbone Campaign, who gathered in Bellingham this weekend for a TPP Action Camp, snapped into action when we all found out about the TPP meeting in Vancouver. They headed for the border, participated in an emergency TPP teach-in co-organized by Greenpeace in Vancouver on Saturday night, then hit the town to light up the night sky with messages against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 
The Teamsters are closely tracking the TPP progress. But the secrecy surrounding the full trade deal's language makes it difficult. Congress must vet every word of that treaty for its impact on American families, and that won't happen with fast-track authority.