Workers haven’t given up the fight to stop the latest – and largest – free-trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
As diplomats from 12 Pacific Rim countries gathered in Atlanta yesterday for negotiations on the sprawling, NAFTA-style trade pact, fair-trade advocates across the country took to the streets, warning the public about what’s at stake in the secretive talks.
Locally, members of the Communications Workers of America and the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition raised awareness with a banner strung across the I-94 Hamline Avenue bridge during rush hour, and they distributed fliers to commuters focusing on the threat TPP poses to food safety and labeling laws.
“The TPP would require us to allow food imports if the exporting country’s safety regime is deemed ‘equivalent’ to our own, even if it violates our food safety laws,” the flier says. “These rules would effectively outsource domestic food inspection to other countries.
“Under the TPP, any U.S. food safety rule on pesticides, labeling or additives that is higher than international standards would be subject to challenge as ‘illegal trade barriers.’ The U.S. could be required to eliminate these rules and allow in the unsafe food under threat of trade sanctions.”
For more information on the TPP: facebook.com/fairtradenow.