(WASHINGTON) – The following is the official statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on the union’s opposition to trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.
“The last thing America needs is one more job-killing trade deal, let alone three. These proposed agreements will damage our economy, raise unemployment and further lower workers’ wages.
“The deals on the table will help the same multinational corporations that have laid off 2.9 million American workers in the past 10 years while hiring 2.4 million workers outside of the U.S.
“Working Americans who are living with the painful consequences of so-called “free trade” deals understand that they kill jobs instead of creating them.
The South Korea trade deal has been renegotiated but it still falls short. The largest deal since NAFTA, it would cost tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, harm some of our highest-paying industries and give foreign multinationals new rights to challenge our laws.
Colombia is still the most dangerous place in the world to belong to a trade union, as 51 union leaders were killed there last year. A trade deal that rewards Colombia would be unconscionable.
Panama is still a tax haven. A deal with Panama would encourage U.S. companies to move jobs to that country and elsewhere, and encourage banks to set up subsidiaries there to avoid regulation.
“The Teamsters will do everything we can to prevent Congress from approving these ill-conceived trade deals.”
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information.