Some good news for U.S. workers. Obama's negotiations with South Korea for yet another NAFTA styled trade agreement failed. There will be no new trade agreement. This one was a battle of the businesses, the labor arbitrage loving statistical spin machine U.S. Chamber of Commerce against U.S. auto makers Ford and Chrysler.
President Barack Obama won’t be returning from his Asia trip with a renegotiated free trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea. Concerns over barriers to American automakers selling more vehicles in that country remain a point of contention.
The Obama administration had hoped to reach a deal on the free trade agreement first settled in 2007. That deal was never formally approved by either nation, and congressional Democrats – particularly those in the House – had balked because of concerns that U.S. automakers still couldn’t compete on equal footing in South Korea.
This week, Chrysler Group LLC joined Ford in opposing the deal as written. Last week, Ford took out a full-page ad claiming that for every 52 Korean cars sold in the U.S. only one American car is sold in South Korea.
Of course the Obama administration is pledging to keep at it, but the House, including the new Republicans might have some different ideas.
In a joint statement, current House Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin, a Royal Oak Democrat, and his presumptive replacement, Republican Dave Camp of Midland, said “Further negotiations will succeed only if South Korea adopts concrete steps to open its market to U.S. exports” including autos.
“While there are other unresolved issues, nowhere is this more evident than in the dangerously lopsided trade in automotive vehicles,” the two said. “In 2009 alone, South Korea exported more than 476,000 autos to the U.S. while fewer than 6,000 U.S. vehicles managed to get through Korean trade barriers.”
The Economic Policy Institute estimates the United States would lost 159,000 jobs over 7 years if the Korean trade agreement was passed and implemented.
Public Citizen asks why is Obama out to commit political suicide by pushing NAFTA styled bad trade deals:
In a year when 205 Democratic and Republican candidates ran against the status quo of job offshoring and unfair trade, it’s unbelievable that President Obama would consider reviving a job-killing, NAFTA- style trade deal with Korea negotiated by George W. Bush in 2007. But that’s exactly what seems to be happening.
Most interesting the Obama administration would be negotiating a trade agreement which cannot pass Congress.
Speaking of political suicide, Obama seems to be on a roll, declaring India to be a job creator, despite the overwhelming evidence the opposite is true.