The UAW and United Food and Commercial Workers are for the deal, but
The machinists’ union has denounced the Korea deal, while two other powerful unions, the steelworkers and the communications workers, will announce their opposition on Thursday, union officials say.
And the AFL-CIO will probably come out against the agreement Thursday as well:
The nation’s main labor federation, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., is usually quick to denounce trade agreements, but so far it has been silent about the Korean pact, apparently because of the disagreement among its member unions.
Several union officials said, however, that the A.F.L-C.I.O. would issue a statement early Thursday criticizing the Korean deal, in particular for not doing more to protect the rights of workers to unionize in both South Korea and the United States.
The original Korea-U.S. FTA agreement was signed in time (July 1, 2007) to qualify for expedited consideration by Congress under Trade Promotion Authority (TPA or fast track). But this supplemental agreement, which changes specific elements of the original, was not.
Scott Lincicome lays out options, with their shortcomings, here: KORUS and TPA, ctd. Highly recommended. It's apparent there's no bullet-proof way forward.
Even before its full details were released, trade skeptics in the U.S. assailed the deal as doing too little to protect U.S. workers. "If the flaws that industry identified in the agreement were not fixed, then this deal could offshore tens of thousands of additional U.S. manufacturing jobs," said Auggie Tantillo, executive director American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, which had pressed for greater action on textile industry-related tariffs and customs-enforcement language.
Opposition parties Sunday vowed to block the National Assembly’s endorsement of the revised free trade deal (FTA) with the United States, saying the government has made excessive concessions in the “humiliating negotiation”.
Citing a report, Sohn Hak-kyu, chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), estimated that Seoul made concessions worth 3 trillion won ($2.64 billion) to Washington in return for new demands worth 300 billion won.
The DP leader said that his party is mulling over whether to demand a complete revision of the bilateral trade deal in an attempt to seek revisions in the ratchet clause that bars going back to the pre-FTA days and the investor-state dispute (ISD) system, which allows investors to file suits against each other’s government for possible unfair treatment.
DP floor leader Park Jie-won said his party will join forces with civic groups and other opposition parties, including the Liberty Forward Party (LFP), to address the problems of the revised bilateral trade deal in an attempt to block its parliamentary ratification.
“Our party cannot tolerate the disgraceful negotiation process and will not accept the lopsided deal,” Park said shortly after Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon’s briefing on the results of the FTA renegotiation.
Opposition parties pointed out that the timing of the renegotiation was ill-guided as it took place when the nation’s security heavily depends on U.S. forces and inter-Korean tensions reached a new peak due to Pyongyang’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23.
“The government failed to protect the nation’s interests by holding the talks at a time when it desperately needs military cooperation from the United States,” the LFP said in a statement.