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Salem City Council votes to oppose FTAA and FAST TRACK!

Tuesday the Salem City Council Joins City of Corvallis in passing resolution to oppose FAST TRACK and also votes to oppose FAST TRACK.
Salem joins the City of Corvallis in opposing Fast Track (HR 3005) and is also opposing the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The Salem City Council's action followed lobbying efforts by Mid-Willamette Jobs with Justice in conjunction with allies the Agenda for a Livable Salem coalition.

All but one councilor (Councilor Wheeler)voted to passed the resolution on Tuesday, November 20th. The resolution opposes the FTAA and Fast Track, and authorized the Mayor of Salem, Mike Swaim to communicate the opposition to the U.S. Congressional Delegation.

The Resolution reads as follows:

Salem City Council Resolution
Oppose Fast-Track and FTAA

Whereas The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is expected to be an expansion of the North America free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); and

Whereas the Constitution of the United States of America delineates the responsibility to regulate foreign trade agreements to Congress under Article 1, Section 8 (3); and

Whereas "Fast Track" (Trade Promotions Authority) restricts full congressional scrutiny of trade legislation by limiting Congressional debate of international trade treaties to twenty (20) hours and denies
Congress the right to amend trade agreements submitted by the President; and

Whereas, Fast-Track "Trade Promotional Authority" (TPA) circumvents the usual Congressional democratic procedures by eliminating the possibility for amendments to trade agreements submitted by the President and limiting debate and citizen input thus reducing the likelihood of full Congressional scrutiny of trade legislation; and

Whereas the FTAA is expected to enjoin the 34 countries of the North and South America (excluding Cuba) and transform the entire Western Hemisphere into an obligated trade area affecting 650 million people; and

Whereas foreign trade agreements can and do affect the citizens of Salem; the citizens of the State of Oregon; the citizens of the United States of America and the units of government that represent them; and

Whereas NAFTA's Chapter 11 expands the right of foreign investors to sue local governments and threaten the authority of local and state governments to provide services to citizens and this right would likely be
included in the FTAA; and

Whereas the expected FTAA/NAFTA assault on the sovereignty of our legal system threatens to diminish the efficacy of local laws and regulations and would threaten the social services that are essential for a thriving local economy; and

Whereas the strict intellectual property laws drafted within the FTAA would have devastating impacts on the people living in the global South; and

Whereas local resolution like this one have been essential to defeat other destructive trade agreements such as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI); and

Whereas Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States provides that the federal government shall guarantee to every state in the union a republican form of government; and

Whereas a foundation principle of republican government is the citizens' right to lobby their elected representatives for the inclusion of amendments, changes to agreements, enactment of domestic laws borne from trade agreements, and for those elected representatives, if they so choose, to include amendments to reflect the needs of their constituents; and

Whereas the collective wisdom and individual citizen's participation in representative democracy is to be desired;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the city Council of Salem, Oregon, that
it hereby:
1. urges the full disclosure of the draft FTAA agreement;
2. opposes any re-authorization of "Fast Track" (Trade Promotion Authority);
3. petitions Congress to recognize and consider the Oregon Legislature's Senate Joint Memorial 2 adopted May 10, 2001;
4. requests that the U.S. Government refuse to agree to any new trade and investment agreements, such as the proposed FTAA, that include foreign investor rights similar to those in NAFTA Chapter 11;
5. urges the U.S. Trade Representative to withdraw any further negotiations on the FTAA unless and until all parties affected by the agreements are allowed to attend and observe the negotiations;
6. requests that the U.S. Trade Representative release to the public current proposals for the FTAA agreement and the submissions if the nine negotiating groups for the proposal,
7. requests the public release of a comprehensive list of the representative to the FTAA negotiating groups from all 34 countries,
8. urges the State Legislature to demand and adopt nonnegotiable U.S. sovereignty safeguards in implementing legislation for the FTAA and other trade agreements, now and in the future; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor is authorized and directed to communicate the City's position regarding this resolution to the U.S. Trade Representative, State Legislature, Oregon's Congressional delegation and all Congressional Committees with trade jurisdiction.

Enacted this Day of ________________, ______01