Opposition to the Korea Free Trade Agreement

“For more than a decade, the labor movement, environmental groups, development advocates and others have advocated for a new trade policy that is part of a more coordinated and coherent national economic strategy. The proposed U.S.-Korea trade deal does not live up to that model and does not contribute to a sustainable global future.”

“The United States has lost 5 million jobs since NAFTA, and the last thing America’s middle class needs right now is ‘Son of NAFTA.’ We desperately need to reverse direction and protect our economy instead of giving it away to our diplomatic partners.”

International Association of Machinists
“[T]he same corporations that shipped thousands of U.S. jobs to other countries are now spinning Alice-in-Wonderland tales about how this agreement will create jobs here at home. Given our past experience with NAFTA and other trade agreements and the current state of the U.S. economy, the nation can hardly afford to fall for this ruse again.”

Communication Workers of America
“Our current economic climate simply cannot support a trade agreement that does not address U.S. workers’ rights and will cost more U.S. jobs. Further, the Korean union movement strongly opposes the agreement. So long as KORUS falls short of protecting the broad interests of American and Korean workers in these uncertain economic times, we will oppose it.”

United Steelworkers
“South Korea is a strong ally that deserves our friendship and support. They have it. But we do not need to inflict further damage to our manufacturing sector and the lives and livelihoods of our workers to prove the strength of our alliance.”

“In the midst of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, working families cannot afford another free trade agreement that will outsource good-paying jobs, increase our trade deficit and further decimate the U.S.’s manufacturing sector. We oppose the passage of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement.”

“The UBC has many members who work in America’s industrial sector… [T]his agreement will cost Americans more jobs and put downward pressure on their wages.”

Professional & Technical Engineers
“[O]ur national experiment with free trade agreements has been negative for workers in America, as well as those around the world.  There has been enough suffering from one sided trade deals that are great for business, but are disastrous for American and foreign workers alike.  Therefor IFPTE opposes the KORUS FTA and will encourage Congress to reject it.”

Friends of the Earth
“The Korea trade pact replicates some of the worst aspects of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), providing foreign investors the right to challenge U.S. public health and environmental regulations that could put a dent in their current or expected profits.”

Sierra Club
“The Sierra Club believes that trade done right can foster development and sustainable growth while also protecting workers and the environment in the United States and abroad. Unfortunately, the recently concluded U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) falls short of these goals… [W]e urge Member of Congress to oppose it.”

National Farmers Union
“Past free trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) have not performed as promised for U.S. agriculture. KORUS replicates many of the most troubling provisions of NAFTA and CAFTA. Even more troubling is the fact that KORUS has no provisions to counter Korean currency manipulations.”

National Family Farm Coalition
“The Korea FTA is based on NAFTA-style trade policies which has displaced and dispossessed farmers in the US, Mexico and Canada, sent jobs that support our rural communities off-shore, and benefited agribusiness at the expense of U.S. farmers, workers, and consumers.”

Public Citizen
“Merely tweaking the ‘cars and cows’ market access provisions of Bush’s NAFTA-style Korea trade pact but leaving in place the offhsoring-promoting foreign investor protections is a slap in the face to the majority of Americans who, according to repeated polls, oppose the same old trade policy that has cost millions of American jobs.”

United Students Against Sweatshops
“USAS has always supported the rights of workers to work in dignified conditions and have a voice on the job.  As evidenced by free trade agreements of the past, and the Kaesong case which is already an issue that we see being perpetuated by such an agreement, USAS holds that an agreement such as the Korea FTA would be detrimental to workers’ rights globally.”

U.S. Chamber Watch
“It’s crystal clear why the US Chamber is supporting a deal effectively shipping over 150,000 American jobs overseas: As the nation’s chief cheerleader for outsourcing, the Chamber gets to go to bat for its top corporate members (the CEOs of JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Boeing and GE.)”

Congressman Mike Michaud
“[W]hen it comes to this deal, I will work with allies on Capitol Hill to do whatever I can to defeat it. We need to finally live up to what the American people have been demanding for years — a substantial departure from the past, not a continuation of its mistakes.”

Senator Sherrod Brown
“I continue to believe it is a dangerous mistake to pursue the same kind of trade deals that ballooned our deficit and led to massive job loss. We simply cannot keep barking up this tree as American companies fold and American workers face prolonged unemployment.”

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez
“There are still fundamental flaws in the agreement, particularly with respect to the labor and investment chapters and textile tariff reductions. These provisions send jobs offshore and make it harder for American workers and companies to compete.”

Congressman Larry Kissell
“We cannot present the same trade guidelines and template that brought us NAFTA and CAFTA, grossly harming American manufacturing and decimating our local economy, and expect different results.”

And that’s just the beginning:

Also overheard on the Korea FTA
–Ranchers-Cattlemen say that it will “accelerate the hollowing-out of rural communities across the nation.”
–AFL-CIO says it is the “last thing working people need.”
–Change To Win says it “could jeopardize important public interest gains or narrow the policy space of governments to respond to the needs or wants of their citizens.”

TAKE ACTION NOW: Urge your Members of Congress to oppose the Korea Free Trade Agreement.

To learn more, visit our main page on the Korea Free Trade Agreement