April 7, 2016
Video available at: https://youtu.be/9zBg9h8DtOE
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you so much, Pete. Thank you.
Pete, thank you. Thank you to CWA for the extraordinary work you have done. You and your union have been in the forefront of the fight against TPP. And it’s a fight we have to win because this goes to the heart of the matter – if we’re going to fight income inequality in this country, we have to fight TPP because it will take us backwards, it will take us in the wrong direction. And there is such a powerful coalition that has come forward to make sure that our trade deals actually don’t hurt our own people. That’s what this comes down to.
We care about good jobs, quality jobs that pay a decent wage. We care about the environment. We care about our small businesses. All of them could be compromised by the TPP – that’s what it comes down to. And that’s why there’s such passion on this issue, because we feel that working people are threatened by the TPP, they’re endangered by a policy that would just empower the corporations more against the needs of working people. There’s such passion on this issue because we’ve already been to this movie. We saw it with NAFTA. We saw what a disaster NAFTA was, and we’re not going to repeat that mistake in our time.
There’s a great coalition here, and I want to thank them. I want to make sure I get everyone in front of me here – Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. There’s so many – Congressman José Serrano, Congresswoman Grace Meng. I want to thank Senator James Sanders Jr, Assemblymember Guillermo Linares; Councilmember Antonio Reynoso; Councilmember Alan Maisel; Councilmember Donovan Richards.
Whoever I missed – someone hand me a note.
I’m sorry – Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. Jerry Nadler – I think I said – Congressman Jerry Nadler.
Unknown: Jesse Hamilton – Senator –
Mayor: Senator Jesse Hamilton.
Alright, instead of a note, I’m getting audio notes.
I thank everyone who is a part of this coalition.
Let’s be simple about this. Let’s be clear. We cannot sacrifice the American middle class to the all mighty dollar – that’s what it comes down to. We cannot sacrifice the American middle class to the all mighty dollar.
And NAFTA was that. NAFTA took away almost a million jobs in this country – tens of thousands of them here in New York State. We saw places all over this country – towns and cities devastated. We saw people who had solid middle class lives have the rug pulled out from under them. People who had done everything right, who had played by the rules, who had worked hard, suddenly were left with nothing – that’s what NAFTA did, and we have every reason to believe that TPP will do the same. And that’s why we have to stand up and fight against it.
You know, you’ve looked at this election year and the discourse in this country – more and more Americans are focused on fighting income inequality. More and more Americans believe that the status quo over the last 20, 30 years wasn’t good for them. Trickle-down economics didn’t work. Policies that favored the wealthy and the corporations backfired for the people. We’re not going to make that mistake again. It’s time for something very different.
So we know the policies of our country must attack income inequality, not aid and abed it – and TPP would simply make a bad situation worse, and we won’t stand for it, will we?
I want to thank this extraordinary coalition, everyone who is gathered here – Congress members; members of the Senate and Assembly; members of the Council; labor activists; civic activists. I want to thank all of them for standing in common cause.
By the way, I want to thank – I have to give a special thank you because this is a bipartisan fight, and thank you, Congressman Dan Donovan, for being a part of this with us.
And another special thank you to the sponsor to the City Council resolution against TPP, Councilmember Helen Rosenthal. Thank you.
So, we are resolute, and we’ll be working with people all over the country in common cause. And if the voices of the people are heard in this process, TPP will be defeated. I have no doubt.
Now, if you think that’s a powerful message in English, you’ll like it even better in Spanish.
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]
We’re going to work together to protect our families and our country.
Thank you, and God bless all of you. Thank you.