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Kucinich Continues to Build Opposition to Free Trade Agreements

WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich is continuing to build opposition to the three pending free trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia Congress is expected to vote on in the fall. He sent a letter to his colleagues today highlighting the role that multinational corporations have played in outsourcing American jobs.

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, between the period of 2000 and 2009, multinational corporations cut 2.9 million American jobs while at the same time, adding 2.4 million overseas.

Yesterday, Congressman Kucinich sent a letter to General Electric’s Chairman and CEO Jeffery Immelt calling for him to resign from his position as head of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness following reports that, in exchange for short-term profit, GE is sending advanced technology to China that was originally created by NASA.

The full text of the Representatives letter to colleagues follows:

August 22, 2011

Dear Colleague:

As Congress prepares to consider three pending free trade agreements (FTAs) in the fall, I commend your attention to a recent article in The Washington Post highlighting the role of multinational corporations in outsourcing thousands of American jobs overseas. Many of the same corporations are now asking for tax-breaks on investments made overseas, claiming that they will use that money to invest in the U.S. economy.

Companies like General Electric (GE), whose President and CEO acts as the head of the Administration’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, are actively pursuing policies that outsource U.S.-developed technology – and U.S. jobs – abroad, while skirting domestic taxes. Since September 2011, GE has cut one-fifth of its U.S. workforce while at the same time increasing overseas employment.

While free trade agreements are being touted as good for job creation, the data since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement proves otherwise. According to the article, “multinationals cut 2.9 million jobs in the United States and added 2.4 million overseas between 2000 and 2009.” The FTAs we are expected to vote on in the Fall are expected to continue the pattern of outsourcing U.S. jobs, not creating them. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that over 210,000 jobs may be lost or displaced as a result of the Korea and Colombia FTAs.

Since 2001, the U.S. has lost 5.3 million jobs in the manufacturing sector as a result of the United States’ trade deficit. In June, the U.S. trade deficit rose to its highest in three years to $53.1 billion. At this rate, the annualized trade deficit could exceed $600 billion.

We ought to be promoting fair trade deals that create jobs instead of providing more incentives to American companies to ship more jobs overseas. I urge you to join me in opposing the Korea, Colombia and Panama FTAs when they come up for a vote later this year.

Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress


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