Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Unions Ready to Fight Obama's Free-Trade Pact With South Korea

3 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
President Obama very much wants Congress to approve a new free-trade agreement with South Korea next year, but some powerful labor unions are already lining up against the deal, fearful it amounts to an invitation to employers to move jobs overseas.

The AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, International Association of Machinists and Communications Workers of America all said Thursday they intend to oppose the agreement, which would gradually knock down tariffs and other barriers to trade between the two countries.

AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington"We do not need to inflict further damage to our manufacturing base and the lives and livelihoods of our workers to prove the strength of our alliance (with South Korea)," the steelworkers said in a statement reported by the Washington Post.

The White House says the deal will grow the economy and support tens of thousands of jobs on the home front. And Obama has backing for the pact from some major unions, including the United Auto Workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers. Free-trade advocates says it will open up lucrative new markets for American automobiles, the aerospace and electronics industries, and farmers and ranchers.

Opponents, including some congressional Democrats, think it could cost jobs because of the anticipated influx of less expensive South Korean goods. It was originally negotiated by the Bush administration, but Obama sealed the deal last week. And a number of Republicans are likely to side with the Democratic president on this one in his effort to win ratification for the pact on Capitol Hill.

Follow Tom Diemer on Twitter http://twitter.com/tomdiemer

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
robert-and-donna-trussell
CHAOS THEORY
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>