May 5, 2015
Dear Representative Price –
On behalf of the Durham People’s Alliance Board, we write today to strongly oppose H.R. 1890, the Hatch-Wyden-Ryan “Fast Track 2015” legislation and urge you to do the same.
As you know well, People’s Alliance has been actively fighting for economic and social justice for almost four decades. We remain strongly committed to fighting for a Durham, a North Carolina, and a world where the rights of working people are defended and our health and environment are protected.
We are deeply concerned that the “Fast Track” legislation currently under consideration in Congress comes up well short in this regard. Instead, this “Fast Track” legislation gives the executive branch the opportunity to negotiate secret trade deals without an opportunity for public input, other than a final up or down vote in Congress.
The concerns of worker rights, human health and the environment must be incorporated into trade negotiations in an open process that gives them equal if not greater weight to those of profitable multi-national corporations, economic elites and foreign governments. Without this open process and these protections, we will perpetuate a global race to the bottom where workers, communities and the environment will lose.
Over the last twenty years we have watched the devastating effect that NAFTA and other trade agreements have had on North Carolina communities. Thousands and thousands of good paying manufacturing jobs have been lost, replaced by low-wage service positions and a growing chasm of economic inequality. Unfortunately there is little evidence that Fast Track enabled trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be anything but more of the same.
We ask you to oppose this Fast Track authority and instead support trade negotiations that are open, accountable, and democratic, and that will produce trade policies that truly benefit all North Carolinians.
Durham People’s Alliance