House Democrats Seek to Sideline Consideration of FTA With South Korea

A group of over 100 Democratic members of the House are requesting a meeting with President Obama to express their opposition to the pending U.S.-Korea free trade agreement.

A group of over 100 Democratic members of the House are requesting a meeting with President Obama to express their opposition to the pending U.S.-Korea free trade agreement.

"The Korea FTA, as negotiated by President George W. Bush's administration, is another NAFTA-style FTA that we simply cannot support in its current form," according to a letter written by House Trade Working Group Chairman Mike Michaud (D-Maine) and signed by another 108 Democratic House members.

The letter said the Democrats opposed specific provisions in the agreement related to financial services, investment, and labor that would benefit multinational corporations at the expense of small businesses and workers.

The group said they recognized that trade agreements done correctly could create jobs, but that implementing the Korea FTA without major changes to the text would exacerbate the U.S. trade deficit, further erode the American manufacturing base, jeopardize efforts to guard against another global economic meltdown, and make the U.S. government vulnerable to compensation demands in foreign tribunals brought by Korean companies doing business within the United States.

The president earlier this year asked USTR Ron Kirk to resolve issues with the Korea FTA in anticipation of presenting the agreement to Congress after November if those problems can be solved.

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