“Obama and Merkel are coming. Demo: Stop TTIP and CETA!”
That is the slogan being spread through social media and on posters across Germany. It is intended to rally the troops to Hanover this Saturday on the eve of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Organizers estimate tens of thousands will amass to protest the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal between the European Union and the United States, and its Canadian counterpart, called CETA.
Mr. Obama’s visit to open the Hannover Messe trade fair alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday is regarded as part of an efforts to kickstart TTIP ahead of the 13th round of negotiations next week in New York.
While it may be one of the United State’s best trading partners in Europe, Mr. Obama is entering hostile territory in Germany.
Along with Austria, the European country has the least enthusiasm for and the most skepticism about the all-encompassing trade deal, according to polls.
Last October, despite the country being gripped by the refugee crisis, an anti-TTIP rally in Berlin drew 150,000 to 250,000 people, depending on whether you accept the official count or the demo organizers’ numbers.
The anti-TTIP movement is hoping for another big turnout on Saturday.