For Immediate Release
Kucinich Stands with American Workers, Opposes Free Trade Agreements
WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) will today take his relentless opposition to three proposed ‘free trade’ agreements to the House floor. The House is expected to begin consideration of free trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia tonight. Kucinich is managing time in opposition to H.R. 3079, the United-States Panama Trade Promotion Implementation Act
He outlined his opposition to the free trade agreements in the following video and statement:
“Today the House will begin consideration of three NAFTA-style free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea at a time when our nation’s unemployment rate continues to hover around 9 percent.
“Free Trade Agreements (FTA) have proven deadly for the American workforce and American workers. They prioritize the rights of multinational companies over the rights of workers, exacerbate the negative effects of globalization, facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs overseas and fail to adequately protect the environment.
“Proponents of free trade agreements like the ones we will consider tonight like to claim that these agreements will increase U.S. exports abroad and create jobs here in the United Sates. But these free trade agreements are no different.
“Colombia continues to be the most dangerous place in the world to be a member of a union. Over 20 trade unionists have been killed thus far just this year. The Colombia FTA, like the other two, will do nothing to protect American jobs from being outsourced abroad and fails to protect the lives of Colombians fighting for basic labor rights in their country.
“According to the Economic Policy Institute, the Korea- U.S. and U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreements are expected to increase our trade deficit by over $16 billion and result in the displacement or loss of 200,000 plus jobs. From 2001 – 2010, the State of Ohio has lost 103,000 jobs as a result of the increase in our trade deficit with China. We cannot afford to pass NAFTA-clone trade agreements that provide American companies with more incentive to ship jobs overseas.
“It is time to promote a fair trade model that prioritizes the rights of American workers, protects and grows our local manufacturing base and includes adequate environmental and product safety safeguards. The last thing American workers and our economy need is more NAFTA-style free trade agreements.”