From California to Japan, the TPP Must be Banned
By Anna Meyer
As protesters gathered Tuesday at a Chevron station in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco, California, one could hear the echo of the chant that resounded most consistently: “From California to Japan, the TPP Must be Banned.” The TPP in this case stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, the new “trade” deals being negotiated by twelve nations that threaten U.S. food safety rules, infringe upon public and private land with an increased push for fracking, undermine efforts to develop local food systems and increase the privatization of water systems. Food & Water Watch proudly joined Global Exchange and the International Forum on Globalization on Tuesday in opposing TPP and the secrecy behind it.
The Castro is a perfect area to protest a multinational trade agreement, as it serves as an intersection of many cultures and visitors from around the world. Passers-by on the street seemed intrigued and were shocked when they stopped to learn the facts about the TPP. Many were taken aback that they had never heard of an agreement that could so drastically impact our nation.
The protest gained the most immediate support by way of San Francisco’s horn honking drivers. This is a city with a concerned and vocal populace that is part of a growing movement of people who are tired of our leaders secrecy and back door deals. This protest and others like it are an essential part of spreading the word on the street and encouraging people to take action to put a stop to secret trade deals like the TPP.
Protests have already taken place in countries such as Japan and Malaysia as concerns grow over the negative effects of the free trade agreement, which will bring little, if any, benefits to small-scale growers and producers. It is important that the U.S. joins the TPP opposition movement with more rallies, such as the one in San Francisco.
As negotiations come to an end it is imperative that we let our members of Congress know that we do not support corporate power grabs such as the TPP. President Obama is asking Congress to grant “fast track authority,” which would allow him to negotiate the agreement without any Congressional oversight.
Anna Meyer is a communications intern for Food & Water Watch.