Earlier today, protesters gathered in front of the Los Angeles office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to protest legislation to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a sweeping trade deal that would endanger women’s rights and workers’ rights. The Senate will take a final vote on the legislation tomorrow.
Although the Senate approved fast-tracking the TPP in May, at the time it included a provision providing assistance to workers who would lose their jobs as a result of the new agreement. However, the newest version of the TPP has weaker anti-human trafficking measures and would be immune to further amendment if fast-tracked this week.
The harmful trade agreement is opposed by a coalition of more than 2,000 organizations—including women’s rights, labor, environment and LGBT groups. National Nurses United, Communication Workers of America, Food & Water Watch, the Sierra Club, Southern CA Fair Trade Campaign and the Feminist Majority were among the groups present at today’s demonstration to speak out against the TPP.
In a statement read on behalf of Los Angeles City Council member Paul Koretz, he referred to the TPP as a “corporate giveaway,” stating that he was “frankly appalled” that the Senate was even considering the legislation. Indeed, the TPP allows U.S. corporations to profit from outsourced labor while ignoring U.S. labor laws and prosecution in U.S. courts.
The Feminist Majority has been protesting the TPP for more than a year after learning of the Taliban-like penal laws of Brunei, an oil-rich country that would benefit from the trade deal.
If this bill passes, the president will gain the ability to sign and enter into a trade agreement without further congressional amendments. Equally as shocking as the ramifications of the TPP is the near-total secrecy in which the agreement has been negotiated.
The Feminist Majority is urging voters to contact their senator and voice their opposition to fast-tracking this dangerous trade deal.