By Lisa Johnson Mandell
February 22, 2011
The Teamsters are urging Congress to reject the current version of the South Korea trade agreement that is currently on the table, calling it the “Son of NAFTA” and claiming it could cost America thousands of jobs.
“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,'” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “We desperately need to reverse direction and protect our economy instead of giving it away to our diplomatic partners. One of the real dangers of this deal is that it gives South Korean multinationals new rights to challenge U.S. laws. Why should a foreign company or investor have more power in this country than our own small businesses?”
While Hoffa says the Teamsters appreciate President Obama’s attempts to renegotiate the deal, he’s stated they can’t support the current version, which is expected to be submitted to Congress any day now.
The Teamsters believe that this particular trade agreement, which is the biggest since NAFTA, would increase the U.S. trade deficit, would cost the United States approximately 159,000 jobs, and would damage some core American industries such as electronics equipment, motor vehicles and parts, and metal products.
“This deal would allow so-called ‘Korean’ cars sold in the United States to be made mostly in other countries because of the ridiculously low rule-of-origin requirement,” Hoffa said. “I also have serious security concerns because the deal would cover products assembled in South Korea made with parts from North Korea.”
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