Why KORUS FTA is Awful for America

Asia’s supply chain is strangling American jobs. And the tug of war between Asian governments and U.S.-based multi-national companies causes excruciating pain for America’s workers and small business.

Soon Congress will begin debate on the South Korea – United States Free Trade Agreement, or KORUS FTA for short.  Promoted as a good deal to expand our economy, it’s not. Hidden in its fine print is a neverending list of loopholes that leaves your head spinning.  Below are five key points why this trade agreement, if passed, will depress our already stagnant economic recovery and put more Americans out of work.

 

Most free trade agreements require exported manufactured products to include 51% of their materials from the country of origin.  However, the KORUS FTA requires only 35% native materials.  South Korea imports manufacturing materials from China.  That means a product that is technically made in South Korea could consist of 65% Chinese manufactured goods.  In essence, we would be eliminating tariffs for South Korean products (and thereby increasing our already enormous trade deficit) while South Korea subsidizes the supply chain of multi-national corporations in China.

China benefits, multi-nationals benefit and America goes deeper and deeper into debt.  Sound familiar?

 

South Korea is the world’s 12th largest economy and one of the biggest trading partners of the United States.  KORUS FTA is set to be the largest free trade agreement since NAFTA.  And much like NAFTA, the U.S. will be importing far more than what we’ll be exporting to South Korea.  Imbalances like that will further increase our trade deficit.  Not only that, any benefit to consumers from supposedly cheaper goods (which rarely happened with NAFTA) would vanish immediately. After all, South Korea is listed by the U.S. Treasury Department as one of three countries who actively manipulate their currency.

Larger trade deficits, higher prices for goods and a stronger Asian supply chain —  all just to manufacture goods that “shudda, cudda, wudda” been made in America.

 

The big winners in any free trade agreement are U.S.-based multi-national corporations.  By expanding free trade with South Korea, many corporations will be given greater opportunity to take advantage of the supply and production stages of manufacturing across the Pacific Ocean.  That means more Americans will be laid off while more South Korean, North Korean and Chinese workers are hired to do the same jobs – but at far lower wages.  Since the products made by these companies won’t face any tariffs, corporate executives will get even richer.

More money goes to fewer people at the top of the economic ladder while America’s middle class gets dismantled, one job at a time.

 

KORUS FTA will open the door for big corporations to increase production by leveraging the Asian supply chain, forcing small- and medium-level U.S. businesses to compete on an unfair playing field.  Small businesses will be slowly squeezed to the point of bankruptcy. Meanwhile, corporate executives will move more American jobs overseas to increase their profits and avoid taxes.

Wall Street gets richer, Main Street gets poorer, and any economic recovery is stillborn.

 

Ignoring labor standards is standard operating procedure for a multi-national corporation. But KORUS FTA goes even further. The KORUS FTA explicitly forbids even referring to the conventions of the International Labour Organization.  And this agreement will allow South Korea to import parts assembled in the brutal dictatorship of North Korea and use them in products exported to America.

If you’re not outraged at this agreement yet, wake up!

 

Debate on this NAFTA-like trade deal will begin soon. Your job – your livelihood – hangs in the balance. You can go about your daily routine and hope nothing happens. Or, you can “Like” our Facebook page and join us in the fight against KORUS FTA.

Stand up for good, old-fashioned blue collar JOBS Now! Stand with us against KORUS FTA today!

What are you waiting for?