Category Archives: South Korea trade pact

Obama’s NAFTA-style Korea deal…what’s in it for us?

Obama just finished speechifying on my boobtube, defending his ‘trade deal’ known as KORUS with South Korea. He is claiming it will save thousands of American jobs and boost our exports by $11 Billion.

Any time someone calls a trade deal a ‘win-win‘ for both countries, my bullshit meter goes off big time.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) doesn’t feel warm and fuzzy about it either. His statement is up over at FDL today about this cough…great deal for Amerika. From his statement:

“I continue to believe it is a dangerous mistake to pursue the same kind of trade deals that ballooned our deficit and led to massive job loss. We simply cannot keep barking up this tree as American companies fold and American workers face prolonged unemployment. Until we address China’s manipulation and make decisions to reduce our trade deficit, I see no reason to pursue more NAFTA-style free trade agreements.

Anyone that has paid attention since Clinton signed off on the original NAFTA deal has a reason to doubt Obama’s ‘numbers’ on how great this deal is for the U.S. Dave Dayden gives us his take:

So, South Korea would have to wait a bit to flood the US market with cars, but there’s no word on whether they would have to allow in more than a trickle of US-made cars into their market (the numbers from last year: 6,000 US vehicles to South Korea, 500,000 South Korean-made vehicles to the US). And what about beef producers, who also balked at blocked Korean markets?

Keep in mind that this pact has to be approved by the Congress Critters. During the presser Obama just held, he had lots of smiling faces behind him. The UAW also gave their blessing to this trade pact, which is interesting if Jane Hamsher’s piece over at HuffPo (its’s a must read) is correct:

UAW Gets 800 Jobs for Endorsing Obama’s NAFTA-Style Korea Trade Deal, Which Will Cost 159,000 US Jobs.


UAW President Bob King decided to endorse trade pact despite strong opposition from his staff.

The UAW then joined with Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, Vikram Pandit of Citigroup, Tom Donahue of the US Chamber of Commerce and John Engler of the National Association of Manufacturer in congratulating Obama on reaching the deal with South Korea.

Earlier in the day, the White House invited interested parties to a briefing where they announced the NAFTA-style trade pact. They embargoed the story until 7pm, however, so that it could be released in the dark of night.


What does the UAW get for selling out American workers? A total of 55,000 additional cars, or about 800 jobs.

The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the Korea Free Trade deal (KORUS) will cost 159,000 American jobs over the next five years.

Sounds like more Corporate fuckery to me, with the help of President Obama…how ’bout you? If the Chamber of Commerce supports this…then my ass is against it…and yes, they are happy as hell about this deal.

Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach released a statement on KORUS today:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and GOP congressional leaders must be gleeful that they are getting the Obama administration to take ownership of another Bush NAFTA-style trade deal that would simultaneously favor their job offshoring agenda and put Obama’s re-election in peril.

Why the administration would consider moving another NAFTA-style trade deal is inexplicable, especially given that export growth under past U.S. free trade agreements was less than half of that to the rest of U.S. trade partners. Bush-era International Trade Commission studies show the Korea deal will increase America’s trade deficit, and Americans across diverse demographics are united in opposition to more-of-the-same trade policy.

Choosing to advance Bush’s NAFTA-style Korea free trade agreement rather than the new trade policy President Obama promised during his campaign will mean more American job loss and puts the White House at odds with the majority of Americans who, polling shows, oppose more-of-the-same job-offshoring agreements.

Merely tweaking the “cars and cows” market access provisions of Bush’s NAFTA-style Korea trade pact but leaving in place the offshoring-promoting foreign investor protections is a slap in the face to the majority of Americans who, according to repeated polls, oppose the same old trade policy that has cost millions of American jobs.

Sounds like more of the same old boss (Bush) bullshit to me..