Rock Against the TPP
Black Hawk Mini Park, Ped Mall — Thursday, Sept. 29 at 5 p.m.
A concert and rally to raise awareness about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal that has come under fire from critics including the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, will take place tonight at 5 p.m. in the Black Hawk Mini Park on the Iowa City Ped Mall.
The concert will feature Matthew Grimm, a Wisconsin-based musician with Iowa roots, as well as statements by local community leaders. The event was inspired by the national Rock Against the TPP campaign, organized by Fight for the Future, guitarist Tom Morello and Firebrand Records.
The trade deal is an agreement between 12 countries — the U.S., Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru — and has yet to be ratified. The goal of the deal is to create stronger economic ties between the countries by cutting tariffs and working to boost growth through trade. However, the deal has faced backlash due to allegations of secretive negotiations and concerns that it would give private companies influence over national and local policy.
The trade deal came up during Monday night’s presidential debate, with both candidates expressing opposition to the deal. During the debate, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed that his opponent, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, only opposed the deal after he came out and criticized it. PolitiFact rated that claim as false, noting Clinton came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in October, two days after the deal was signed.
The deal would need to be ratified by February 2018 by at least six countries, including the U.S. and Japan, in order to go into effect.
“It’s going to affect everyone. It’s going to be detrimental to people here in Iowa and around the world. It’s bad for workers, it’s bad for democracy, it’s bad for the environment,” said Steve Abbot, President of the Communication Workers of America Iowa State Council.
Abbot voiced concerns about what the trade deal would mean for local control issues and pollution regulations. The deal would need to be ratified by February 2018 by at least six countries, including the U.S. and Japan, in order to go into effect.
“Once it gets voted on, there’s no taking it back. We’re at a crossroads and we need to get this thing stopped,” Abbott said.
The event is sponsored by Teamsters Local 238, Iowa City Sierra Club, Communication Workers of America District 7, 100Grannies.org, Faith United Church of Christ, Iowa City Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa.