From The Forum:
A western Queens rally put one federal lawmaker under the microscope with hopes that he would continue to vote against a controversial trade deal being negotiated in Congress.
Protesters held up colorful signs and danced along to activist tunes outside the Jackson Heights office of U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx) to oppose what several advocacy groups called a behind-closed-doors negotiation that could potentially ship domestic jobs overseas and undermine laws protecting public health, workers’ rights and the environment.
They sang songs of protest, including one that asked the question, “Which side are you on, Crowley? Which side are you on?”
“The Trans Pacific Partnership 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,” Corinne Rosen, a senior organizer with Food and Water Watch, a consumer protection group, said in reference to the trade deal that is supported by President Obama. “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.”
The Trans Pacific Partnership is a trade deal between several countries, including the United States and Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Once achieved, it could bring in an estimated $223 billion in global income benefits per year by 2025 with real income benefits to the United States estimated at $77 billion per year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative said. The deal could also generate an estimated $305 billion in additional world exports per year, by 2025, including an additional $123.5 billion in U.S. exports, the USTR said.
Crowley’s spokesman said the congressman kept constituent concerns at the forefront of his political agenda and based his votes on trade agreements on their individual merits and impact on jobs, national security, families and communities.