City of Miami Commissioners Pass Resolution Opposing Secrecy in Trade Deals

City of Miami Commissioners Pass Resolution Opposing Secrecy in Trade Deals

Photo: Miami protesting the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas in 2003.

Measure Comes Just Days before Major Trade Summit Hits Miami

Miami, Fla. — City of Miami Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution this

morning calling for greater transparency in trade policymaking that affects south

Florida’s economy, environment and public health.  Their action comes just ten days

before trade negotiators from the United States and European Union meet in Miami for

their 11th round of talks on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP),

a companion to the just-completed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), whose text still

remains secret.

 

“These massive trade agreements have a very real effect on jobs, wages, the

environment and public health in our communities,” said Deborah Dion, Florida State

Director, Citizens Trade Campaign. “The American people deserve to know what

negotiators have been proposing in our names.”

 

“We suspect both the Pacific and Atlantic trade deals will threaten segments of Miami’s

work force with procurement provisions that force us to waive ‘Buy American’ and ‘Buy

Local’ requirements, as well as other provisions that reduce risks and offer incentives to

corporations that offshore U.S. jobs,” said Gayle Martin, Florida Progressive Democrats.

“At the same time, both pacts are rumored to contain provisions that could subject the

city’s laws and regulations on a wide variety of matters to challenge in international

tribunals.  These are matters we should be able to investigate and debate publicly

before the ink on the deals is dry.”

 

Unlike European negotiators, who have been their TTIP proposal public, U.S.

negotiators for both TTIP and the TPP have flatly refused to make their proposals

available for public scrutiny.  They have likewise blocked composite texts from being

published.  Meanwhile, they have granted hundreds of corporate lobbyists special

“cleared advisor” status that provides them with access to negotiating texts.

 

“It’s shameful that Europeans can learn what their government is proposing, but

Americans cannot,” said Fred Frost, Campaign Lead, CWA International Union.

“Government just works better when there’s a system of transparency, public

participation and collaboration.”

 

“The TPP negotiating process was a disaster.  It provided corporate special interests

preferred access to the texts throughout the negotiations, while barring the public from

knowing what was being proposed during the pact’s entire formative stages,” said David

Diaz, Executive Board Member, AFSCME Local  3292.  “Policies that affect Floridians

daily lives shouldn’t be negotiated behind closed doors.  The TPP and TTIP texts should

both be released immediately.”

 

During the upcoming TTIP negotiations in downtown Miami (October 19-23), unions,

faith leaders, elected officials, consumer and environmental groups, and community

activists will be holding protests, press conferences and briefings to shine a spotlight on

the TTIP and other secretive trade deals.

 

Similar resolutions have also been passed in the City of South Miami, City of Hialeah

Gardens and the City of Hallandale Beach.

 

See the PDF here.