A trade deal likely to harm environmental and labor protections may be losing momentum. But it's not dead yet.
The "Reichert" called out in Ross' sign is Congressman Dave Reichert, R-Wash., and at issue is his active support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sprawling deal that would change the way international trade is conducted in 12 countries around the Pacific Rim, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Vietnam, Peru, Australia, and Japan.
As opponents of the TPP frequently point out, the deal isn't just about trade: leaked sections of the text, which is not available to the public, reveal that the TPP would also lead to significant changes to policy areas such as intellectual property rights (especially on the Internet), the creation and enforcement of environmental protections, and the labeling and marketing of agricultural products.
Opponents of the deal say that the TPP would roll back the gains of almost every people's movement, especially those concerned with labor and the environment.
Ross says he received wide support for his banner, judging by the number of honks he heard from the vehicles passing beneath. An organizer with the Vashon Island-based organization Backbone Campaign, he says that illustrates that the work he and others have done to educate the public about the TPP over the past few years is starting to pay off.
"For the past 18 months, it was negotiated with essentially no media coverage, and activists had to teach their own representatives what the TPP was," Ross said. "But it isn't as secret as it used to be."