Groups gather at congressional office to oppose TPP
by Lydia Stetson
Feb 05, 2014 | 291 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Over 100 people surrounded Congressman Joseph Crowley’s office in Jackson Heights on a cold morning last week to highlight issues with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal they say would cause harm to Americans in a variety of ways.

Seth Gladstone, one of the organizers of the rally, spoke about the many cons of TPP and how it will not only affect the U.S., but also the world.

“For one, it would ship American jobs overseas and lower wages for both workers here and abroad,” Gladstone said. “TPP would also cause problems for state and environmental organizations that communities throughout the United States fight extremely hard to keep in place to protect clean water, clean air and environmental standards.”

Gladstone adds to this surmounting list, saying, “These international trade deals would chip away at these environmental standards, so that’s a real problem. This is something that would really spell disaster for American consumers.”

Corrine Rosen, an organizer with Food and Watch, a consumer protection group, delved into the issues even further.

“The TPP could spell disaster for communities large and small that are seeking to protect themselves from all sorts of public health and environmental dangers, dangers like fracking for example,” Rosen said. “These monstrous trade deals, negotiated secretly in the halls of Washington, are boons for multinational corporations that seek to profit at the expense of American jobs and American health and safety standards.”

Crowley’s press office responded to the protestors with a statement outlining the ongoing discussions over the TPP, an issue that President Barack Obama discussed in his State of the Union address, explaining that there is a long road ahead before any decisions are finalized.

“This has not yet come before the House for a vote, but Congressman Crowley did vote against the measure the last time it came before Congress," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that Crowley previously opposed deals like the Most Favored Nations status for China, the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

A variety of other activist groups were present, including Occupy Wall Street, Special Projects Affinity Group, Expose the TPP New York, Veterans for Peace Chapter 34, NYC Raging Grannies and many more.

Adam Weismann, another organizer of the event, was extremely happy with the results of the rally.

“This is an enormous crowd, especially for this part of the city,” Weismann said. “I think it really shows just how motivated the people are about the issue. I think it’s really great.”

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