Hoping to pressure the Obama administration to be a little less secretive in its trade talks, protesters planned a noon rally today outside the offices of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington.
Labor, environmental and consumer groups planned the protest at 600 17th St. N.W. as a way to call attention to the administration's private talks involving the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement (TPP.)
"Americans cannot afford another back-room deal that offshores manufacturing and service jobs, reduces tax revenues and pushes down wages and benefits in the jobs that remain," said Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of Citizens Trade Campaign. "Unless exposed to the light of day and real public participation, the TPP is poised to enrich corporate interests at the expense of the economy, the environment and public health at home and abroad."
Other groups involved in the event included the Communications Workers of America, Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Watch and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.
The trade pact is a top priority for President Barack Obama, who touted it Thursday during a meeting with his advisers. Obama says it will create jobs in the United States and allow American companies to send more products overseas.