photo: Citizens Trade Campaign

As I type this, there is a rally and march happening in Downtown San Francisco for a new Fair Trade agenda.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations begin this week in San Francisco. Trade ministers from all over the world will be in San Francisco for the TPP trade negotiations, which marks the defining moment on U.S. trade policy for the Obama Administration. These meetings are said to offer a long-overdue opportunity to address trade failures of the past, and lay out a new framework for the future.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are outlining a possible multi-lateral trade agreement with the U.S. and seven other countries from around the Pacific Rim, including countries with atrocious records on human rights and environmental protections, such as Brunei and Vietnam.  The choice is stark: a new kind of trade agreement that lifts standards around the world or the expansion of NAFTA-style agreements to Asia and beyond.

If the TPP is successfully negotiated, we will have an established Obama trade policy for years to come, for ill or for good. The elections of President Obama promised to be a crossroads for U.S. trade policy. Nevertheless, after campaigning as a trade reformer, initial moves by the administration suggest continuity with Bush-Clinton-Bush-era free trade policies.

The morning rally and march of June 14th is a gathering fair trade allies, such as speakers Art Pulaski of California Labor Federation and Carl Pope of Sierra Club. The TPP talks are a perfect time to let trade negotiators know that there needs to be a fair deal or no deal at all.

In the evening of June 14th, Global Exchange and the California Fair Trade Coalition are hosting a special forum where experts from across civil society will explore the threats and opportunities posed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.


SEIU Local 87, 240 Golden Gate Avenue (Golden Gate @ Leavenworth), San Francisco

What the TPP is and what it means for the future of the U.S. trade policy


Kevin Danaher, Global Exchane, moderator

Lori Wallach, Public Citizen-Global Trade Watch

Victor Menotti, International Forum on Globalization

Zeke Grader, Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations

Bill Hing, University of San Francisco School of Law

Ellen Shaffer, Center for Policy analysis on Trade and Health

Amy Kapcynski, UC Berkeley School of Law

Alberto Saldamando, International Indian Treaties Council (invited)

Anuradha Mittal, Oakland Insitutute (invited)

Tim Robertson, California Fair Trade Coalition

Sliding scale of $10-$25 No one turned away for lack of funds

For more information, please call the CFTC at 415-255-7291 or e-mail