Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trumka: Korea, Colombia, Panama Trade Deals ‘Wrong Medicine’

by Mike Hall

BREAKING—The Senate tonight passed all three trade deals. The Senate votes were 83-15 for Korea, 66-33 for Colombia and 77-22 for Panama.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the trade deals that Congress is set to vote on later today are “the wrong medicine at the wrong time.”
Working people know what too many politicians apparently do not—these deals will be bad for jobs, workers’ rights and our economy.
The three trade deals with Korea, Colombia and Panama will go to a House vote first this evening and then the Senate will take them up later tonight.
There’s still time to call your representative at             1-800-718-1008  and your senators at  202-224-3121      
and urge them to vote “No” on the three trade deals.
Colombia has long been the most deadly nation in the world for trade unionist and as an AFL-CIO report found last week, remains so, despite promises by the Colombian government to battle the violence against trade unionists. Trumka says a deal with Colombia “is not just bad policy, it’s immoral.”
Just last year, 51 trade unionists were assassinated. Would we pass a trade agreement with a country if it were 51 corporate CEOs who’d been murdered?
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the Korea trade deal will cost 159,000 net U.S. jobs while Panama routinely tramples workers’ rights and shelters money launderers and tax dodgers.
EPI says the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should serve as warning about the job loss threat of these three trade deals.  Click here for a state-by-state NAFTA job-loss map.
“America’s families need a new way forward on trade, one that promotes the export of U.S. goods rather than jobs,” says Trumka and he warns:
Members of Congress will be held accountable for their votes on these trade deals. By a 4-to-1 margin the American people understand that so-called free trade costs jobs.
Instead of passing more flawed trade deals, Congress and the White House should act quickly on China currency and focus on creating millions of good jobs that we desperately need.

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