Maine Currents 12/16/15

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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