Disastrous Korean U.S. Free Trade Agreement Restricts Our Ability to Control Our Own Economy

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The Korean-US “Free Trade” Agreement (KORUS FTA) is yet another disastrous “free trade” agreement further crippling our economy. Our manufacturing base is suffering and we have lost even more control where international trade, banking and finance are concerned. Even before the agreement was passed, it was projected that 159,000 jobs would be lost due to this dangerous agreement. Additionally, as the effects accrue, KORUS hastens the destruction of our already weakened auto industry.

The grim reality of the KORUS FTA is that every aspect of our economy is now out of our control. Even more alarming is that many of our leaders do not even know what is in the agreement! Scary, considering there are so many disastrous details hidden in the agreement.

Jobs, not products, will be exported. On top of that, South Korea now has the ability to challenge U.S. laws, including our wage laws, as laid out in chapters 11, 13, and 19 of the agreement. As if that’s not enough, the list goes on. KORUS now has the ability to facilitate takeovers of U.S. companies by Korean companies, and South Korea can now insource low-wage jobs to us.

However, the U.S. does not get to enjoy the same access to South Korea. Textile tariff reductions are also unequal, there are limitations on inspections of Korean beef imports, and there is nothing in KORUS to prevent the currency manipulating practices of South Korea. And we’re just scratching the surface.

One month after the “free trade” agreement was signed, the U.S. trade deficit in goods with South Korea tripled, climbing to $1.8 billion. Our imports from Korea were $5.5 billion and exports to South Korea were $3.7 billion. Only a year earlier, in April of 2011, our goods deficit was $1.1 billion.

The overall trade deficit between South Korea and America as of March of 2013 was about $13.7 billion. The previous year, during the same time, the trade deficit was $11.404 billion. That means, between 2011 and 2012, there was an alarming 19.6 percent increase!

This agreement was signed under the pretense that it would improve the United States economy. Trade deficits hurt, not help an economy! We are experiencing a negative balance. Something must be done. Everyone is urged to speak out against the Korean-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Our economy is extremely vulnerable.

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