Environmentalists, unions protest Pacific trade pact in Maui

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — About 400 protesters on a beach in front of a Maui resort blew conch shells to demonstrate against a trade agreement being negotiated by ministers from 12 Pacific Rim nations.

The demonstrators stood in rows and blew into their shells in unison as the sun set off Kaanapali Beach in Lahaina on Wednesday.

They held their protest on the sand in front of the Westin Maui resort, where ministers are meeting this week to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

The agreement would lower tariffs and other trade barriers while setting labor and environmental standards for its participants.

Protest organizers say the trade agreement would benefit a few major corporations while sacrificing protections for public health, the environment, local jobs and indigenous rights.