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Maloney Joins Business, Labor and Community Leaders to Condemn Ongoing Secret Trade Negotiations

Jan 23, 2014
Press Release
Fast Track Legislation for the TPP Would Endanger Jobs, and Environmental and Consumer Protections

Newburgh, NY — Joined by labor, business and other community leaders, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) rallied in opposition to ongoing secret trade negotiations, known as “fast track” authorization, concerning new trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Currently, the TPP is being negotiated in secret between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries including Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, and Vietnam, which are 40% of the world economy. Fast Track legislation, which would create a process to ram the agreement through Congress, was introduced in the Senate and House on January 9th, and surrenders Congress’ constitutional rights with respect to trade policy.

“Folks from the Hudson Valley deserve nothing less than trade agreements that strengthen middle class families here in America and we shouldn’t repeat past mistakes by blindly rubber-stamping secret negotiations,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “Increased trade can be good for everyone, but I can’t and won’t support any agreement until someone can show me how this strengthens our middle class and creates jobs here in the Hudson Valley.”

“I believe we need trade deals that increase our trade surplus, not increase our trade deficits. If we want to help Americans find work and keep work, entering into large-scale trade deals is not the best way to do it. In fact that might hurt more than it helps,” said Frank Fauci Jr, President of CWA 1120.

“TPP means an increase in the cost and production of natural gas in this country, and a decrease in our rights to protect public health and the environment. The TPP will vastly expand markets for U.S.-produced natural gas, and this is going to drive up natural gas prices at home, straining the budgets of American working families and businesses who will be paying significantly more for electricity and heat,” said Jen Metzger of the Rosendale Town Board.

“We can now answer the question ‘Which side are you on?’ and our congressman has demonstrated that he is with us, the constituents of the 18th CD!” said John T O’Malley of the CWA.

“The founding fathers wisely granted to Congress the exclusive constitutional authority over trade. Maintaining the role of Congress in trade negotiations is not just a matter of respecting the system of checks and balances; it is about fundamental economic issues that will define the futures of manufacturing communities,” said Beth Soto, Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation.

“Numerous farmers in the US, like tomato farmers in Florida, are literally closing up and moving their entire operations to Mexico where the production regulations and restrictions do not match what exists in the US,” said Chris Pawelski, a fourth-generation Orange County onion farmer.

“I’ll tell you of a secret room in Washington D.C., where there’s room for corporations but not for you and me. It’s there they make the trade rules for eleven different lands; that takes the power from us all and puts it in their hands,” sang David Bernz, a Beacon musician in an original song.

“Why would any American enter into an agreement that will cost US jobs, and basically force American Business to compete against an employer who pay less than half a dollar a day, have no safety or health standards, no environmental laws to contend with and isn’t required by law to provide health care for its workforce?” said Ed Cook of the Carpenters Local 279.

“NYers haven’t been told much about the TPP, but we know this: it guts labor and environmental protections, hurts jobs here at home, and is designed by and for the 1% and wealthy corporations. There is no reason to Fast Track ourselves into bad trade deals,” said Ari Kamen, Hudson Region Political Director of the WFP.

"TPP will impact Newburgh and communities like Newburgh across the country. We already struggle with people living in poverty, making poverty wages. This will not even the playing field economically it will make it more difficult to get jobs when there aren't many jobs to get," said Andrei Niles, a leader of Community Voices Heard. 

“This is like NAFTA all over again. Let’s talk about bringing jobs back to the USA,” said Ellen Redmond of the IBEW.

“We believe that trade should be fair. The TPP and Fast Track are fundamentally unfair and undemocratic,” said Rev. Pam Lupfer of Hudson Valley Presbytery.