Sherman Sides with Labor in Opposing Colombia, Panama and Korea Trade Deals
Washington D.C. - On October 12, 2011, Congressman Brad Sherman stood with labor in opposing three anti-worker trade deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea.
While most of Republican Party supported of all three bills, a small minority of Democrats joined with the GOP in supporting these bills. Of the 192 Democrats in the House, only 31 voted for the Colombia deal, 66 for Panama, and 59 for South Korea.
Watch Congressman Sherman’s Remarks on the House Floor: CLICK HERE
Or Read Congressman Sherman’s Remarks below:
Transcript from CSPAN
Mr. Speaker. At this time I yield two minutes to the gentleman from California, Mr. Sherman. The speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from California is recognized for two minutes.
Mr. Sherman: It looks like the only thing congress is going to do this year about jobs is to ship them overseas. Trade adjustment assistance is being authorized tomorrow. But not a penny is being appropriated tomorrow and any penny that is appropriated will no doubt be taken from health and education spending necessary without the trade agreements. This South Korean free trade agreement will increase our trade deficit by tens of billions of dollars and every billion of dollars of increase in our trade deficit costs us tens of thousands of jobs. The agreement is being sold as if goods made in South Korea are the only goods that are going to come into our country. That’s wrong in three ways. First, if goods are 65% made in china, 35% finished in South Korea, they come into our country duty-free. And that 35% of the work done in South Korea can be done by Chinese workers living in barrack in South Korea -- barracks in South Korea. So the goods may never be touched by a South Korean. We are going to be talking in this congress, I hope, about Chinese currency manipulation. There are proposals that would impose tariffs on Chinese goods. This South Korean agreement, is a prebuilt loophole in anything we try to do with china over currency manipulation. They manipulate their currency, they make 65% of the goods in china, they ship them to South Korea, they come in free into the United States. Without having to worry about our tariffs or our sanctions against their currency manipulation. Second, goods that are 65% made in North Korea, 35% made in South Korea have a right to come in under this agreement. but we have an executive order that will bar them at our ports. so we will be in violation of this agreement on the first day. That means South Korea can impose sanctions and take away whatever benefits you think we're going to get under this agreement. I ask the gentleman for no additional time and I thank the gentleman for his time.
AFL-CIO Factsheet on Korean Trade Agreement
This is what the AFL-CIO says about the Korea Trade deal:
“In economic terms, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) is the most significant U.S. trade agreement negotiated since NAFTA. And like NAFTA, it largely replicates the same model, which cost the U.S. more than one million jobs, allowed violations of core labor standards to continue unabated, and resulted in numerous challenges to laws and regulations designed to protect the public interest.”