President Obama and the corporate democrats continue to press Congress to provide Obama with trade promotion authority (TPA), or so-called fast-track authority to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the first of a series of pernicious so-called free trade agreements.
The Flush the TPP website, a major resource for the anti-TPP movement characterizes the TPP as: “A secret trade agreement…(that) threatens to undermine democracy by entrenching corporate power in virtually every area of our lives, from food safety and the environment, to worker rights and access to health care, the TPP is about much more than trade. It is a global corporate coup.”
In the process of organizing the fight-back to deny President Obama fast-track authority to conclude the TPP and ram it through Congress behind the backs of the people, I wrote about the fact that in some black circles there was uncertainty regarding the priority that the TPP should be given or whether or not it was even an important issue for African Americans.
However, over the last week African Americans organization have rallied in opposition to the TPP and established its defeat as an immediate priority for black people, even as some members of the Congressional Black Caucus are wavering in their initial opposition as a result of pressure from the Obama administration.
Saladin Muhammad, long time union organizer, veteran of Black Liberation Movement and spokesperson for the Black Workers for Justice, captures the view of a number of black activists who are naming neoliberal capitalism as the enemy: “structural policies of global capitalism like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), must be opposed and challenged by the Black working-class as part of the struggle for Black liberation and social transformation.”
The logic of Saladin’s comment is grounded in a critical analysis of the relationship between African Americans and the capitalist political economy that suggest that the debased conditions of black working class existence in the U.S. is produced and reproduced as a result of the inner logic of this system.