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Audio archives of spoken word broadcasts from Community Radio WERU 89.9 FM Blue Hill (weru.org)

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    It has been called “NAFTA on steroids” and “the largest corporate power grab you’ve never heard of”.
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is the largest regional trade deal in history, encompassing 12 countries that control 40% of the world’s economy, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia and several other Pacific Rim countries.

    The TPP was negotiated in extreme secrecy for five years. Other than sections leaked by wikileaks, the public, the media and even elected officials were kept in the dark. President Obama had promised the public would have plenty of time to read it before he signed the agreement. The 6000+ pages long document was finally released in November, and Obama signed it last week. There is now a 2 year deadline by which the agreement must be ratified by the processes used in each country that signed on. In the US that means Congress needs to pass it. They voted last year to give the President fast track authority, which means they can now only vote “yes” or “no” on the agreement, having given up their power to make any amendments.

    Obama says the TPP will open new markets and create new jobs. Similar arguments were made for the passage of NAFTA in the 90s and history has proven that to not be the case. Here in Maine the impact of so-called “free trade” agreements has been seen in the massive loss of manufacturing jobs. It was with those years of experience with NAFTA, CAFTA and other “free trade” agreements that Mainers came out to express concerns about the TPP

    FMI:
    Full text of the TPP: ustr.gov/tpp/#text
    Maine’s Citizen Trade Policy Commission: www.maine.gov/legis/opla/citpol.htm
    The Presidential Candidate’s positions on the TPP: ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_the_Trans-Pacific_Partnership_trade_deal

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Today we do a 2015 year in review with clips from stories about Divest UMaine, an investigation by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, Kim Ervin Tucker, scientists and lobstermen opposing the Searsport dredging project, the fight over mining regulations in Maine, the NRDC and Maine People’s Alliance’s federal lawsuit over the mercury pollution in the Penobscot River, Mainers opposing the TPP, and a story by Naomi Graychase , recording at “Bucksport, Then and Now”, and more — and we look ahead to 2016!

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Today we’re bringing you to the season finale of the Queen City Cellar Tellers storytelling series, held at the Fork and Spoon in Bangor on December 18th. This month the theme was “family”. Chris Roberts emceed.

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Segment 1: Today we bring you Part 2 of Mainers speaking out at the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission’s Public Hearing on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), in Bangor on December 10th (more info re the TPP is below).

    Segment 2: We shift gears for some local storytelling from the “True Stories” event held by the Midcoast Actors’ Studio in Belfast earlier this month.

    If passed, the TPP would cover 12 countries with an estimated combined GDP totaling 40% of the world’s economy,
    For several years, the TPP was negotiated in extreme secrecy. When the text was released last month, the advocacy group Public Citizen responded that “In chapter after chapter, the final text is worse than expected, with the demands of the 500 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest. The text reveals that the pact replicates many of the most controversial terms of past pacts that promote job offshoring and push down U.S. wages.” Congress is expected to vote on the agreement in 2016.

    The Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission was created by Maine law in 2003 to “assess and monitor the legal and economic impacts of trade agreements on state and local laws, working conditions and the business environment; to provide a mechanism for citizens and Legislators to voice their concerns and recommendations; and to make policy recommendations designed to protect Maine’s jobs, business environment and laws from any negative impact of trade agreements.” The CTPC is composed of 6 legislators, 7 members from the private sector and 5 representatives of different state agencies.

    TPP text: ustr.gov/tpp/#text

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Mainers speak out at the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission’s Public Hearing on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), in Bangor on December 10th.

    If passed, the TPP would cover 12 countries with an estimated combined GDP totaling 40% of the world’s economy,
    For several years, the TPP was negotiated in extreme secrecy. When the text was released last month, the advocacy group Public Citizen responded that “In chapter after chapter, the final text is worse than expected, with the demands of the 500 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest. The text reveals that the pact replicates many of the most controversial terms of past pacts that promote job offshoring and push down U.S. wages.” Congress is expected to vote on the agreement in 2016.

    The Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission was created by Maine law in 2003 to “assess and monitor the legal and economic impacts of trade agreements on state and local laws, working conditions and the business environment; to provide a mechanism for citizens and Legislators to voice their concerns and recommendations; and to make policy recommendations designed to protect Maine’s jobs, business environment and laws from any negative impact of trade agreements.” The CTPC is composed of 6 legislators, 7 members from the private sector and 5 representatives of different state agencies.

    TPP text: ustr.gov/tpp/#text

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Part 3 of 4

    Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison has called theTrans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP) trade agreement “the largest corporate power grab you never heard of.” And if you HAVE heard of it, and want more information about it, you would have to rely on sections of the agreement that have been leaked by Wikileaks. The agreement is being negotiated in such extreme secrecy that even legislators are relying on the leaked materials for information. If enacted, the TPP would cover at least 12 countries, with a combined gross domestic product totally 40% of the world’s economy, earning it the label “NAFTA on steroids”. The Maine Citizens Trade Policy Commission, held a public hearing in Belfast on December 12th. The committee’s co-chairs, Senator Troy Jackson and Representative Sharon Treat held the the meeting to learn about the potential impacts of the TPP on food safety, farming and the seafood industry. We’re going to cover that hearing in several parts here on the WERU News Report this week and next. You’ll hear the concerns expressed by farmers, lobster fishermen and other community members. You’ll also hear some very candid open frustration from state legislators serving on the committee, who have had to rely on wikileaks to learn specifics about what is proposed in the TPP, and the potential impacts on Maine.

    The CTPC was est’d by the legislature in 2004 to track trade agreements and their impacts on Maine, and make recommendations to the legislature. The members include legislators, reps from state agencies, and other interested parties.
    Commission members who were present at the meeting in Belfast were: Linda Pistner, Chief Deputy Attorney General; Stephen Cole Representing Economic Development Organizations; Mike Karagiannes Maine Dept of Environmental Protection (DEP); Jay Wadleigh International Assoc. Machinists, Representing Organized Labor; Sen. John L. Patrick of Rumford; Sen. Troy D. Jackson of Allagash, Co- Chair; Rep. Sharon Anglin Treat of Hallowell – Co-Chair; Rep. Jeff M. McCabe of Skowhegan; Michael Herz, appointed to represent Nonprofit Environmental Organizations, and John Palmer, Representing Small Business

    FMI www.maine.gov/legis/opla/citpol.htm

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  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Part 2 of 4

    Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison has called theTrans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP) trade agreement “the largest corporate power grab you never heard of.” And if you HAVE heard of it, and want more information about it, you would have to rely on sections of the agreement that have been leaked by Wikileaks. The agreement is being negotiated in such extreme secrecy that even legislators are relying on the leaked materials for information. If enacted, the TPP would cover at least 12 countries, with a combined gross domestic product totally 40% of the world’s economy, earning it the label “NAFTA on steroids”. The Maine Citizens Trade Policy Commission, held a public hearing in Belfast on December 12th. The committee’s co-chairs, Senator Troy Jackson and Representative Sharon Treat held the the meeting to learn about the potential impacts of the TPP on food safety, farming and the seafood industry. We’re going to cover that hearing in several parts here on the WERU News Report this week and next. You’ll hear the concerns expressed by farmers, lobster fishermen and other community members. You’ll also hear some very candid open frustration from state legislators serving on the committee, who have had to rely on wikileaks to learn specifics about what is proposed in the TPP, and the potential impacts on Maine.

    The CTPC was est’d by the legislature in 2004 to track trade agreements and their impacts on Maine, and make recommendations to the legislature. The members include legislators, reps from state agencies, and other interested parties.
    Commission members who were present at the meeting in Belfast were: Linda Pistner, Chief Deputy Attorney General; Stephen Cole Representing Economic Development Organizations; Mike Karagiannes Maine Dept of Environmental Protection (DEP); Jay Wadleigh International Assoc. Machinists, Representing Organized Labor; Sen. John L. Patrick of Rumford; Sen. Troy D. Jackson of Allagash, Co- Chair; Rep. Sharon Anglin Treat of Hallowell – Co-Chair; Rep. Jeff M. McCabe of Skowhegan; Michael Herz, appointed to represent Nonprofit Environmental Organizations, and John Palmer, Representing Small Business

    FMI www.maine.gov/legis/opla/citpol.htm

    No Comments
  • Producer/Host: Amy Browne

    Part 1 of 4

    Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison has called theTrans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP) trade agreement “the largest corporate power grab you never heard of.” And if you HAVE heard of it, and want more information about it, you would have to rely on sections of the agreement that have been leaked by Wikileaks. The agreement is being negotiated in such extreme secrecy that even legislators are relying on the leaked materials for information. If enacted, the TPP would cover at least 12 countries, with a combined gross domestic product totally 40% of the world’s economy, earning it the label “NAFTA on steroids”. The Maine Citizens Trade Policy Commission, held a public hearing in Belfast on December 12th. The committee’s co-chairs, Senator Troy Jackson and Representative Sharon Treat held the the meeting to learn about the potential impacts of the TPP on food safety, farming and the seafood industry. We’re going to cover that hearing in several parts here on the WERU News Report this week and next. You’ll hear the concerns expressed by farmers, lobster fishermen and other community members. You’ll also hear some very candid open frustration from state legislators serving on the committee, who have had to rely on wikileaks to learn specifics about what is proposed in the TPP, and the potential impacts on Maine.

    The CTPC was est’d by the legislature in 2004 to track trade agreements and their impacts on Maine, and make recommendations to the legislature. The members include legislators, reps from state agencies, and other interested parties.
    Commission members who were present at the meeting in Belfast were: Linda Pistner, Chief Deputy Attorney General; Stephen Cole Representing Economic Development Organizations; Mike Karagiannes Maine Dept of Environmental Protection (DEP); Jay Wadleigh International Assoc. Machinists, Representing Organized Labor; Sen. John L. Patrick of Rumford; Sen. Troy D. Jackson of Allagash, Co- Chair; Rep. Sharon Anglin Treat of Hallowell – Co-Chair; Rep. Jeff M. McCabe of Skowhegan; Michael Herz, appointed to represent Nonprofit Environmental Organizations, and John Palmer, Representing Small Business

    First to speak was Senate candidate and former Maine ACLU Director, Shenna Bellows:

    FMI www.maine.gov/legis/opla/citpol.htm

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