Archive for the ‘Trade’ Category

Local Leaders Release Analysis Showing Central New York Losing Jobs under Free Trade Agreements; Small Businesses’ Exports Limited

In International, Trade on April 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Groups Call on Representatives Hanna, Katko, and Stefanik to Stand with Middle Class Families against Fast Tracking Trade Deals


Utica, NY –At a news conference today in Utica, a coalition of national, state, and local labor, environmental, and consumer groups called on Representatives Hanna, Katko, and Stefanik to stand with middle class families against Fast Tracking trade deals that will offshore more good-paying jobs, dampen state manufacturing and agricultural exports, and fuel the demise of New York’s middle class.  Advocates also raised concerns that this trade deal will weaken environmental protections such as New York’s fracking ban, threaten food safety, gut regulations to protect people from Wall Street banks, and raise prescription drug prices.

The TPP is currently being pushed by global corporations and negotiated in secret between the United States and 11 other countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Japan, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam which make up 40 percent of the world economy.  Trade policies adopted under Fast Track have already resulted in one million American jobs lost and 60,000 factories closed. The rushed deals have jeopardized the safety of our food and overturned environmental protections.

The news conference was sponsored by the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., Central New York Labor Council, Sierra Club, of New York, Syracuse Peace Council, Citizen Action of New York, Food and Water Watch, and Mohawk Valley Climate Change and Political Action.

The group released an analysis that shows a growing trade deficit for the top ten New York exports to Korea since the 2011 trade pact.  The Korea trade pact serves as the template for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the deal for which President Obama is now seeking Fast Track. The data also shows jobs lost in New York under the past trade pacts, New York income inequality trends, and small business share of state exports.

“Despite promises that past controversial trade pacts would boost exports, government data show that New York’s exports to trade pact partners have actually lagged behind its exports to the rest of the world.  And in the first two years of the Korea trade pact used as the template for the TPP, U.S. exports to Korea have fallen in the top ten products that New York exports to Korea – from apples to transportation equipment – while the U.S. trade deficit with Korea in those products has grown 24 percent, displacing New York jobs. Now that the same broken promises are being trotted out for the TPP, New York’s workers have every reason to reject an expansion of the trade status quo,” said John Furman, president of the Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc.

Mr. Furman also pointed out that under NAFTA and corporate globalization, between 1970 and 2000, the Utica-Rome area economy lost over 20,000 manufacturing jobs and 42,000 residents or 12 percent of its population.  Major local plants such as Oneida LTD, Chicago Pneumatic, and General Electric closed due to foreign competition and NAFTA.   Mr. Furman said that it is likely that manufacturing and many other jobs like call centers may be outsourced if Fast Track and TPP are approved.

The report also shows how the proposed trade deal will negatively affect the local economy, undermine local economic development efforts, and overturn laws protecting family farmers.  Mr. Furman continued:  “TPP will restrict local governments from reducing pollution and environmental protection, make it possible for corporations to undermine local and state fracking bans, and allow global corporations to challenge Buy American and Buy Local Laws.”

The groups are asking local residents to contact their members of Congress at 877-852-4710 and tell them vote NO to Fast Track authority for secret trade deals like the TPP.  Mr. Furman said:  “The TPP and Fast Track are a bad deal for the residents of Central New York and will cripple our community efforts to get back on track from the recent recession.  We must let our representatives know that they are accountable to us and must put our interests first before those of big corporations and other countries.”

A new original song – “Let’s Stop the TPP” – composed by local musician Albert Izzo – was debuted at the news conference.  This song will be made available to groups throughout the nation fighting for trade policies that protect workers, communities, and the environment.  The link to the song is:

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Teach In on the Trans Pacific Partnership

In Trade, Video Documentation on January 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm

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Part 1 1:33:41

Part 2 00:13:01

TPP Panel

The Trans Pacific Partnership is a major trade pact, much bigger than NAFTA, being negotiated in secret by the US and many other Pacific Rim Countries. Learn more about the TPP and the threats it poses to our democracy.

-Emily Bishop, New Yorkers Against Fracking
-Frank Cetera, GMO Free CNY
-Margaret Flowers, MD is an organizer of and Flush the TPP. She also coordinates and hosts a radio program called Clearing the FOG.
-Howie Hawkins has been an activist and organizer in movements for peace, justice, labor, the environment, and independent politics since the late 1960s. He is a working Teamster, and a Green Party leader.
-Aly Wane, Syracuse Peace Council

600 lobbyists mostly from multinational corporations are active in the negotiations but your elected representatives are excluded. The TPP is not mainly about trade. Its real purpose is to help global corporations sue governments in an international trade tribunal, to force governments to abandon laws that protect the public, workers and the environment. The TPP threatens internet privacy and innovation. The TPP accelerates the “race to the bottom” by threatening many important safeguards in business. It undermines financial industry regulations, dismantles “Buy Local” preferences, restricts countries from providing generic drugs or negotiating lower drug prices for their residents, challenges food safety, chemical safety, and labeling requirements, threatens environmental policy, and further delays action on climate change.

The TPP won’t pass unless it is allowed to bypass normal congressional review through the “Fast Track” process that stifles debate and bans amendments and filibuster. To stop TPP,  Congress must reject the fast Track option before TPP is finalized and presented for approval. The White House is seeking Fast Track, and a vote in Congress is likely in early February.

Panel to Address Controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal

In Trade on January 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

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Syracuse, NY — On Tuesday, January 28, the Syracuse Peace Council will host a Teach-In on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. Attendees will hear from a diverse panel of activists on this major trade agreement, much bigger than NAFTA, being negotiated in secret by the US and many other Pacific Rim Countries.

  • WHO: Syracuse Peace Council
  • WHAT: Trans-Pacific Partnership Teach-In
  • WHERE: ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. Syracuse NY 13203
  • WHEN: Tuesday, January 28 7-9pm
  • WHY: The TPP is being negotiated in secret and a recent bill in Congress is attempting to “Fast Track” the TPP and bypass Congressional approval for the agreement. Rep. Maffei and Sen. Schumer are opposing “Fast Track” Sen. Gillibrand has yet to take a position. The TPP is not going away and grassroots education, vigilance, and mobilization is necessary to make sure that undemocratic trade agreements like the TPP are not implemented.

The teach-in will feature panelist on a variety of topics:

  • Margaret Flowers, MD is an organizer of and Flush the TPP. A pediatrician, she is on the national steering committee for Physicians for a National Health Plan. She also coordinates and hosts a radio program, Clearing the FOG.

  • Howie Hawkins is active in the Green Party and a Teamster who unloads trucks at UPS.

  • Emily Bishop, is a Syracuse native and an organizer with, New Yorkers Against Fracking
  • Frank Cetera, is a Cooperative Ecological Organizer, working with local initiatives related to cooperatives, ecological wisdom, democratic governance, GMOs, and independent media – having recently founded the blog Independent Media CNY.
  • Aly Wane is a local human rights activists working primarily on issues related to rights for undocumented immigrants.

For further information, visit


Jessica Azulay, 472-5478

Ursula Rozum, (315) 414-7720,