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What You Need to Know About a Worldwide Corporate Power Grab of Enormous Proportions

The corporate cabal behind a new trade agreement including Cargill, Pfizer, Nike and WalMart, has done an exceptional job of maintaining an almost total lack of transparency as they literally design the future we will all inhabit.

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The elements are there: a diverse coalition of wonky NGOs, social justice and trade policy experts, urban anarchists, Occupiers and suburban activists painting banners and scheming pranks—labor leaders, environmental groups and representatives from Mexico, Peru and beyond, but the scale is so far totally out of proportion to the threat we’re facing.

But this is beginning to change. Speakers at Sunday’s rally included key labor leaders from the Teamsters, and the Communications Workers of America joined with the leaders of environmental groups from the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and Rainforest Action Network.

The TPP was conceived under the second Bush administration, but it has been embraced and nurtured into maturity under Obama’s watch. The widespread belief among people here opposing it is that the current Administration is in a race to finish much of the negotiations while they can bank on the fact that labor leaders and environmental and human rights advocates will shy away from challenging a democratic president in an election year. Free trade agreements are particularly unpopular in the key swing states Obama needs to win this election—making right now a crucial moment of opportunity to pull the TPP out of the shadows and leverage our combined political power to kill it before it takes root any deeper.

Stay tuned, one way or another history will be made in the coming months and the outcome will forever influence how our communities and countries relate to each other in an ever-shrinking world.

For more background and details on the TPP negotiations and content,  click here.

Laurel Sutherlin is RAN's Communications Manager for the Forest Program. He is a life long forest defender and social justice advocate specializing in environmental education and strategic communications.