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May Days of Action against Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) launched on World Fair Trade Day

World Fair Trade Day on May 11 will launch the May Days of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). It is an opportunity to connect fair trade products and purchasing with fair trade policy. The month-long event, which includes actions and public events on five continents, is also timed to coincide with the 18th TPP negotiating round in Lima, Peru from May 15-24.

“You only have to look at the list of chapters in the TPP to see that the deal is not about removing barriers to trade so much as putting barriers in front of the public good. The TPP is about making it more difficult or even illegal to get in the way of corporate profiteering,” says Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians, who begins a six-city trade justice tour on the TPP and other Canadian corporate rights pacts in British Columbia on May 22.

“Across the proposed TPP region, workers and community members are coming together to fight this latest corporate take-over of our public policy and public resources. The TPP has little to do with trade that will improve the lives of people most in need. It is another power grab by the world’s wealthiest multinational companies, to further deregulate their industries, while putting limits on public policies designed to create jobs, protect the environment, and rebalance the enormous wealth inequality created by past trade deals,” says Kristen Beifus, executive director of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition.

Starting May 11, communities on five continents will hold community assemblies, public events and political actions to draw attention to the TPP negotiations happening in Peru. These actions are in solidarity with Peruvian trade justice activists who, among many activities, will protest the TPP on May 17 at the mid-point of the negotiations. May Days of Action assemblies will watch messages of solidarity from fair trade activists in other TPP countries and discuss ways to fight back against the corporate rights agreement in their communities. For event details and contact information, see

“Under NAFTA’s unjust trade rules, most of Mexico’s population remains in poverty, and corruption persists,” says Alejandro Villamar of the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC). “Now they are negotiating even more pro-corporate rules in secret through the TPP. We Mexicans and other social movements globally know the TPP is just the same neoliberal poison in a different bottle. Our challenge is to unite in a global campaign against the TPP as we have in the past.”

The TPPxBorder movement came together in late 2012 as an effort to bridge fair trade movements in Canada, Mexico and the United States. It was launched December 1, 2012 during a cross-border rally against the TPP at Peace Arch Park on the Washington State–British Columbia border. TPPxBorder is an open network of labour, environmental, social justice and other community groups challenging the prevailing model of corporate globalization that “free” trade agreements lock in.

Watch a World Fair Trade Day video message from Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians: