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Kucinich, Michaud Organize Opposition to Korea Free Trade Agreement

Free Trade = Fewer Jobs

WASHINGTON - Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Michael Michaud (D-ME), members of the House Trade Working Group, have begun organizing in the House of Representatives to garner opposition to the proposed Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) expected to be considered by Congress in September. Kucinich and Michaud wrote to their colleagues urging opposition to free trade agreements, such as KORUS, which send American jobs overseas.

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Colleague:

Last week, congressional leadership announced a deal that would pave the way for the consideration of three free trade agreements (FTAs) when Congress returns from recess in September, including the Korea-U.S. FTA (KORUS). As the U.S. continues to struggle and recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, it is unconscionable that we would consider passing an FTA that puts the rights of investors and multinational corporations over the rights of American workers.

If passed, KORUS would grant multinational corporations and investors the right to sue the U.S. government in private foreign tribunals if laws or regulations are enacted that they believe negatively impact their profits. This means that our state or federal government can be sued for enacting laws that protect workers or public health just because they interfere with a company’s bottom line. Under the North American FTA, multinational corporations and investors have used these overarching protections to challenge vital public regulations pertaining to environmental protection. If the government loses such cases, it is U.S. taxpayers that must foot the bill.

Such protections not only significantly undermine U.S. sovereignty, they also provide further incentives for corporations to outsource American jobs if labor protections get in the way of their profits. Since 2001, the U.S. has lost 5.3 million jobs in the manufacturing sector as a result of our trade deficit. Now we want to pass an FTA that will not only further increase our trade-deficit, but result in further job loss?

Please join us in opposing KORUS when it comes up for a vote in September.

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Sincerely,

 

Dennis J. Kucinich Michael H. Michaud

Member of Congress Member of Congress

 

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