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Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney along with local leaders and businesses speak out against a new trade agreement, that they say endangers jobs in the Hudson Valley and across the nation. Time Warner Cable News Reporter Meredith Zaritheny has more.
NEWBURGH, N.Y.-- As a business owner Paul Halayko prides himself on supporting local businesses.
But he says the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement between the U.S. and countries including; Vietnam and Japan is threatening vital economic partnerships in the Hudson Valley.
"It's important that free trade be on equal footing between equal partners. And what you're talking about with some of the countries here, it’s not going to be equal footing and yes that means the end farmer is going to affected," said Paul Halayko, Newburgh Brewing Company Co-Owner.
This trade agreement will not affect the beer the Newburgh Brewing Company makes here but it will impact other aspects of their business.
"We try as much as possible to support our local farms and other local purveyors in what we serve from our kitchen. And this specific trade agreement will have an enormous effect on them and so in part it has an effect on us," said Halayko.
Local farmers like Chris Pawelski say the agreement doesn't economically benefit the U.S. and threatens to hurt the local economy.
"It will lead to more onions coming in and vegetables and fruits coming into our markets and being in our markets, so we're going to have less to sell less market to sell and we're going to get a lower price," said Chris Pawelski, Onion Farmer and FarmRoot Executive Director.
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney says he's concerned about the overall economic impact this trade agreement could have on the Hudson Valley.
"The basically test does this create wealth for the Middle Class yes or no, where is it going to create jobs. I want good jobs right here in the Hudson Valley and we need to stop doing things that ship our jobs overseas," said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Cold Spring.
Legislation introduced earlier this month would “Fast Track” this trade agreement, giving both the House and the Senate little say on how trade is conducted with these countries.
"And we shouldn't ram it through we should have a good conversation about this and get it right," said Rep. Maloney.
"You're talking about unregulated food products swamping the U.S. market and really hurting our local farmers. And if they can't compete that means they can't exist and that means if they can't exist we can't serve their product, and so it does have a very very huge effect," said Halayko.