UAW Solidarity House | 8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48214 | p. (313) 926-5000
© Copyright 2013 UAW. All Rights Reserved.
The UAW joins Congressman Sander Levin in his statement that, “The changes announced to the U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) today are a dramatic step toward changing from a one-way street to a two-way street for trade between the U.S. and South Korea. These changes represent an important opportunity to break open the Korean market for U.S. businesses and workers and boost American manufacturing jobs, particularly in the automotive sector.”
President Obama, Vice President Biden and their administration gave the labor movement, and particularly the UAW, an opportunity to be part of the discussions about this agreement. Working in collaboration with the Obama Administration, Congressman Levin, Congressman Dave Camp, and top management from the auto companies, especially Alan Mulally of Ford, we believe an agreement was achieved that will protect current American auto jobs, that will grow more American auto jobs, that includes labor and environmental commitments, and that has important enforcement mechanisms.
Under the 2007 proposed agreement, almost 90 percent of Korea’s auto exports to the United States would have received immediate duty-free access on the day the FTA entered into force. Under the current proposed agreement, duty elimination is now delayed until Year Five of the agreement, giving U.S. automakers the time to reverse the damage caused by decades of South Korean protectionism. Also with this agreement, cuts in the U.S. 25 percent truck tariff are substantially delayed until Year Eight of the agreement and then are phased in though Year Ten of the agreement. Under the 2007 proposed agreement, truck tariffs were cut immediately from the day the FTA entered into force.
This agreement is an important step toward a global rule-based trade system, an important step in giving labor a real voice in trade negotiations. We look forward to working with the Obama Administration on the issue of global rights for workers -- especially the right to organize and bargain collectively.