Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Sunday, 19 February 2012 21:23

"Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment Act of 2008 or the TRADE Act of 2008."

Written by 
"

A letter to Sander M. Levin, MI Chairman Subcommittee on trade of the Committee on Ways and Means

http://www.citizen.org/trade/tradeact/ (a copy of the bill)

Trade Reform
Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment Act of 2008 or the TRADE Act of 2008.


We as citizens of the Space Coast in Brevard Florida are grateful and are experiencing a greater sense of confidence in our nation ' s legislative process. This Bill, the TRADE Act of 2008 which strengthens the role of congress concerning trade and treaty agreements is a step in the right direction in congress reclaiming its Constitutional responsibility. For the past thirty years, we the citizens had lost confidence that trade agreements were concerned with ordinary citizens or the nation's welfare economically and societally. We claim the basic foundation and primary purpose of United States trade and treaty agreements is the welfare of citizens and the nation.


We applaud your direction in Section Two concerning Labor standards and practices, environmental standards and the protection of human health. However we could not find any uniformity of consequences across nation states and corporate entities. What is to prevent a nation from becoming a favorite nation of corporations because of lax enforcement policies. Please let us know how you plan to address this and what language you will use in the legislation.


In Section Three, in examining the economic, labor, social, and environmental impact in countries involved in trade agreements and making that information public we would like to see local government officials (county and city commissioners) involved and public meetings held at the local level to discuss and explore the probable impact as well. If the local community that is to be altered due to the agreement can not support the agreement, then the agreement will need to be altered or abandoned. In this day and age the need for indirect representation concerning governmental involvement that will change the social and economic structure in which people live needs to give way to a more direct involvement of citizen participation.


We understand the stated need for fast track however the last three decades have proved fast track has not been beneficial to the welfare of the ordinary working men and women. Economic democracy is not fast; it is deliberative, thorough, and strengthening of the economic foundation of local communities. We do expect you, our Representatives, to be about strengthening the social, cultural, and economic foundation of the local communities that voted you to office.


With regards to Section Three Number Six, we expect any shifting of public sector services to private corporate ownership to go through the same process of economic, social, and local impact analysis as stated above in this trade agreement. In essence that is also a trade agreement between the citizens of this nation and a corporate entity and we expect the process to be thorough and strengthening of the economic foundation of local communities.


With regards Section Three, 11-C #1, If the trading partner has a democratic form of government, we would expect the United States to push in the directions of fair and clean elections.


Thank you for keeping the processes in Section Three open to the public. And we hope to see these public hearings at the local level with locally elected officials engaging their constituents.


Regarding Section Four as we are grateful for the public involvement in Section Three, we are concerned that we did not find the same language in Section Four. Again we the citizens are ultimately responsible for these agreements working through our representatives. However if we are excluded in any phase, how are we to be responsible. We the citizens will be living in the restructuring of our society as a result of these trade and treaty agreements. As we have witnessed the trade process over the past thirty years we are not confident our best interest is at the heart of our government. Therefore we require transparency to the ultimate degree. We look forward to working with you and your working with us.


Thank you,

Rev. Gregory Wilson

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