Korea Free Trade Agreement
Letter to the Editor: Minnesota Daily
By Anna Gedstad (Economic Justice Committee of MPIRG)
In early December, President Obama touted the potential benefits of the Korea Free Trade Agreement, the largest free trade accord since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed in 1993. The proposed agreement was signed by former President Bush in 2007, but didn't make it to Congress, and with good reason: it will have destructive effects on America's economy, the environment, and workers' rights.
During the NAFTA period (1993-2009), Minnesota lost over 50,000 manufacturing jobs to outsourcing. Likewise, the Korea FTA nearly ensures that American jobs will continue to be outsourced to foreign countries where workers have been subjected to harsh conditions and low wages. In addition, the agreement will reduce auto emission regulations on motor companies, and in turn help to reverse the progress that automakers are making towards more fuel-efficient vehicles. Not surprisingly, the United States is currently running a half trillion-dollar trade deficit that will increase as a result of the Korea FTA, according to the United States International Trade Commission.
The Korea FTA will extend the irresponsible deregulatory policies that landed the American economy in its dismal state. If President Obama and Congress intend to rescue the United States' economic vitality, it is imperative that the Agreement is not approved.