The political fight over President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is entering the cultural mainstream.
A week after Obama declared that he's "down with TPP" on the "Tonight Show," a group of rock musicians and Hollywood actors is launching a "Rock Against the TPP" road tour to rally the public against the 12-nation trade accord.
Former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello will headline a free concert July 23 at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, organizers said. Actress Evangeline Lilly, who has appeared in "Lost" and "The Hobbit," also will appear, along with punk band Anti-Flag, Denver-based hip hop group called Flobots and bilingual rock group Downtown Boys.
Morello's recording label Firebrand Records and the digital rights group Fight for the Future organized the show and they are promising more appearances in other cities. A coalition of labor and environmental groups are co-sponsoring the event.
Morello said in a news release that he's raging against the trade deal because "working people everywhere have had enough. The TPP is nothing short of a corporate takeover of our democracy."
The Obama administration agreed to the expansive TPP accord last October, but time is running out to get it approved by Congress. Broad economic anxiety among the electorate has made trade an unpopular issue on the campaign trail, with both of the presumptive presidential nominees, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, publicly opposing the deal. Proponents of the pact have said they are eyeing a potential "lame duck" session of Congress after the November elections as the best chance to get the deal ratified.
"The TPP allows American businesses to sell their products both at home and abroad," Obama said on the "Tonight Show" during a segment in which the president "slow-jammed" the news with host Jimmy Fallon. "The more we sell abroad, the more higher paying jobs we provide here at home."