News Release

Trade Deal Hits Protests at Congressional Hearing


The program “Democracy Now!” reports: “The top U.S. trade official has told lawmakers the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal could be wrapped up within months and urged Congress to give the White House fast-track authority to approve the deal. Protesters with the group Flush the Trans-Pacific Partnership repeatedly interrupted U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman’s testimony before Congress. The protesters — Dr. Margaret Flowers, Kevin Zeese and retired steelworker Richard Ochs — were all arrested after being removed from the hearing.”

MARGARET FLOWERS, M.D., mdpnhp at, @MFlowers8
KEVIN ZEESE, kbzeese at, @KBZeese
Flowers and Zeese are with the group For more details and video of their action, see the piece “Activists Disrupt Senate Finance Committee Hearing over U.S. Trade Rep’s push to “Fast Track” the TPP,” which states: “The legislation, which Obama requested from both parties during last week’s State of the Union address, would limit congressional oversight of the Administration’s free trade agreements and is widely opposed by hundreds of environmental, labor, public health, food safety, and faith groups nationwide.

“Protesters wore shirts reading ‘No Fast Track’ and held signs stating ‘Froman lies,’ a response to the ambassador’s recent claims that Fast Track is the ‘best tool to ensure that Congress and the public have ample time to give our trade agreements the public scrutiny and debate they deserve.’ Past versions of Fast Track legislation, including one introduced with little support last January, limits the amount of time Congress has to consider agreements and suspends their ability to make amendments to the texts.”

Flowers and Zeese also recently wrote: “Fast Track Not A Done Deal, The People Will Stop It,” which states: “Across the political spectrum there is mass opposition to fast tracking the secretly negotiated TPP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP, aka TAFTA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). People remember the impact of NAFTA on job loss, destruction of Mexican agriculture, expansion of inequality, environmental degradation and increased immigration. The most recent South Korean trade pact, which Obama touts as a success, is leading to similar results of lost jobs and an expanding U.S. trade deficits.”