Korean Trade Deal Promised Jobs, Delivered Job Losses

Two years ago, against the IAM’s strong opposition, the United States signed a trade agreement with South Korea (KORUS). Like other trade pacts, advocates of the deal said it would create thousands of U.S. jobs as a result of increased exports to South Korea.

And, like all other trade pacts, recent government data now indicates that KORUS has cost the U.S. over 40,000 jobs as imports from South Korea to the U.S. have surged in key manufacturing industries, including autos.

IAM President Tom Buffenbarger cites the failure of KORUS as just one more reason to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), currently being negotiated with 12 other countries. 

“If TPP is implemented, thousands more manufacturing jobs will leave our shores for countries where the right to form a union is illegal,” said Buffenbarger. “We have every right to demand that trade deals respect and protect workers’ fundamental rights, both here and abroad.”