Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the U.S.- South Korea Trade Agreement

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Amaya Tune (202) 637-5018

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the U.S.- South Korea Trade Agreement

WASHINGTON - We remain deeply concerned about and strongly opposed to the
U.S.-South Korea trade agreement as negotiated by the Bush
Administration.  The agreement would exacerbate our already lopsided
trade relationship with South Korea, putting at risk thousands of good
U.S. jobs in the auto, steel, and other industrial sectors.

The agreement phases out tariffs on goods and services between the
two countries, but does not go nearly far enough in eliminating the
non-tariff barriers that currently prevent American products –
especially autos – from entering the South Korean market fairly.   

This flawed agreement is the last thing working people need.  With a
fragile and incomplete economic recovery, and unemployment estimated to
remain near 10 percent for the foreseeable future, we should not be
putting in place new trade agreements that will speed up the offshoring
of U.S. manufacturing jobs.  

Our negotiators should go back to the table to address the imbalanced
market-access provisions in the agreement and to revisit the flawed
investment, procurement, and services provisions as well.   

President Obama promised a "smart, fair and strong" trade policy. 
The KORUS FTA does not meet this standard, and we will work closely with
the Administration and Congress to improve this agreement on behalf of
American and Korean workers.  Unless and until the agreement is amended
to address these concerns, we will strongly oppose passage of the
U.S.-South Korea trade agreement.

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The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions. The AFL-CIO union movement represents 10.5 million members, including 2 million members in Working America, its new community affiliate. We are teachers and truck drivers, musicians and miners, firefighters and farm workers, bakers and bottlers, engineers and editors, pilots and public employees, doctors and nurses, painters and laborers-and more.

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