Dear Republican Freshman:
We are writing on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of grassroots members and activists represented by our organizations to express our opposition to language in President Obama’s Korean trade deal, and our concern about a letter you have already received from several of your Colleagues.
Reps. Reed and Berg recently circulated a letter to President Obama about trade for you and the other Freshmen Republicans to sign. Some of you who have signed the letter have told us that you only intended your signature to signal your general support for free trade, not your support for a specific agreement. We hope that is the case.
While we agree that expanding trade will increase economic growth here in the U.S and with the letter’s statement of commitment to developing a comprehensive trade agenda, we are alarmed that the letter suggests that the solution is passage of (among others) the Korean trade agreement (KORUS).
With all due respect to Reps. Reed and Berg, some of the language in the letter is misleading regarding the ultimate negative outcomes if KORUS is passed. The agreement will actually result in:
1. The loss of U.S. jobs
2. Increasing the U.S. trade deficit
3. Violation of U.S. property rights, Constitution & sovereignty.
It is a deeply flawed 1000-page patchwork of micro-management written by trade bureaucrats masquerading as “free trade.” Conservative estimates say this job-killer cost us at least159,000 American jobs in the first seven years of its implementation and add $16.7 billion to our trade deficit with South Korea.
But even more alarming is the loss of U.S. sovereignty and autonomy to the foreign tribunals of the United Nations and the World Bank required by this agreement, and the extraordinary special privileges granted to foreign corporations and their investors.
Hundreds of foreign-owned establishments across the United States would obtain expansive new rights to demand taxpayer compensation through challenges of U.S. federal, and state laws in foreign tribunals. This threat allows even companies from China or North Korea to use a U.S. or Korean subsidiary to challenge U.S. laws in the U.N. As in NAFTA, the investor rights provisions give foreign corporations the power to demand payment from the U.S. when public interest protections affect a company’s commercial interests
And even though the U.S. has imposed sanctions on North Korea, this deal allows billions of dollars of U.S currency to flow directly into North Korea through the Kaesong Industrial Complex -a free trade zone between North and South Korea.
Some U.S. industry trade organizations that are pushing for passage have not been completely transparent in stating the reasons for their support. While it’s true that they do business in the U.S., almost every one of the trade group leaders is in actuality part of a huge multi-national corporation, with transnational interests that go well beyond our borders and a concern for just U.S. jobs and economy.
We will not stand by and allow this deal to sacrifice the Constitution to a web of international agreements and organizations. Simply, if free trade comes with a price tag of the Constitution, then the cost is too high.
President Obama’s Korean trade agreement is a bad deal for the U.S., and Congress must kill this bill when it is introduced. A vote against KORUS is a vote FOR U.S. jobs, U.S. sovereignty, and the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution.
Why Conservatives Should Oppose KORUS Part I: Sovereignty
NAFTA-style Korea Trade Deal on Agenda at Congressional Tea Party Town Hall
Sign the Petition: Say NO to Obama's Korea Trade Deal