Alliance for Democracy

Korea Free Trade Agreement/Populist Dialogues

Posted in Populist Dialogues, Sen Ron Wyden, South Korea Free Trade Agreement by Alliance for Democracy Portland OR on January 10, 2011

Korea Free Trade Agreement

The Corporatist attacks on the rest of us are moving on several fronts, especially now with the new Congress in session.

One front will be the introduction of Bush the second’s so-called Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Panama and Congress.

President Obama is set to bring to Congress the Bush negotiated Korea Free Trade Agreement into congress in the first couple of months of the new session. He appears to be set to follow in the steps of President Clinton who introduced the first President Bush’s NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada) seemingly to prove to big business that he and the Democrats could be trusted to govern from the center and therefore were worthy of massive political bribery, I mean, campaign contributions. Unfortunately, just as President Clinton lost the support of his Democratic party base, his labor base and his environmental base, so President Obama will continue to lose his base even if the Democrats may get major corporate political contributions. The base may not vote Republican but with the President ready to throw them under the bus, they are not likely to vote at all in 2012.

So it is very important that we oppose this corporatist trade agreement with the same gusto that we opposed the other anti-democratic trade agreements of the past.

This agreement with Korea is different from agreements in the past. Unlike America’s partners in past agreement who were largely underdeveloped economies, the Korean economy is fully developed and ready to make investments in the US. In fact, already there is a large stream of Korean investments in the United States including here in Oregon. With a new FTA between the US and Korea, the likelihood of Korean corporate challenges to American laws and regulations using the Investor Protection clauses increases. These clauses allow foreign corporations who claim to have lost future profit making ability to sue before a private trade tribunal either to recover the lost profits or to have the offending law or regulation overturned. Such claims would never be allowed within the American court system, so trade agreements create a way around our court system.

What can you do?

* there are two events next week which you can attend. The details are below. The second is a rally outside Sen Wyden’s office. It is especially important to get a good turnout for this as Sen. Wyden is chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Trade which will be the first to hold public hearings when the agreement is presented to Congress.

* If you can’t be there for the rally, or even if you can, please call his office to express your opposition. A toll free number to reach the US Capital is 877-851-6437. His local phone number is 503.326.7525. Ask for his trade aid, or call after closing and leave him a message. Use that toll-free number to call your US Representative as well.

* And forward this message to your friends. Let your neighbors know that this is on the horizon.

* Watch the AfD sponsored Populist Dialogues interview of Arthur Stamoulis, exec director of Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, explain what is wrong with the agreement. It is available on the AfD website. More information is also available on the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign website.

Populist Dialogues

Alliance for Democracy has recorded its first two 1/2 cable programs in its new series called the Populist Dialogues. They will be broadcast thoughout the Portland metro area on the schedule below. They can also be watched from our website at

Topics and play times are:

Citizens United and what we can do. Interview with Dan Meek.
Broadcast on /at Sunday January 9, 5 pm, channel 11
Thursday January 13, 8 pm, channel 22 (maybe 32 on Frontier in east county)
Friday January 14, 7:30 pm, channel 23 at 7:30 PM

Korea Free Trade Agreement. Interview with Arthur Stamiolus
Broadcast on /at Sunday January 16, 5 pm, channel 11
Thursday January 20, 8 pm, channel 22 (maybe 32 on Frontier in east county)
Friday January 21, 7:30 pm, channel 23 at 7:30 PM

| David Delk, President | Alliance for Democracy – Portland, 503.232.5495 | |

Tuesday, January 11, 6:30 PM, Machinists Union Hall, 3645 SE 32nd Ave
Cross- Border Unity Against the Korea Free Trade Agreement
A Speaker’s tour with the Korean Confederating of Trade Union’s Kim Kyung-Ran

In early December, U.S. and Korean trade negotiators struck a deal that is expected to bring the Korea Free Trade Agreement to the floor of Congress in early 2011. This is the biggest free trade agreement since NAFTA, and is strongly opposed by the largest labor federations in each country.

The same provisions in the Korea FTA that encourage the off shoring of U.S. manufacturing jobs — such as special investor privileges, deregulatory requirements and substandard labor protections — also weaken labor’s hand in South Korea. Trade policies that increase corporate power at the expense of jobs, workers’ rights and democracy must be stopped.

Hear from Kim Kyung-Ran, Director of External Relations for the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, as she:

* Busts the myth that job-killing trade deals that hurt ordinary Americans somehow benefit working people in other countries; and

* Inspires us to action with photos and stories from some of South Korea’s largest and most dramatic mobilizations against the FTA to date

Kim’s stunning 35-minute slide presentation will be followed by short reports from local activists, updating you on the expected impact of the FTA in our region and how you can get involved in local efforts to stop it.

This event is part of a West Coast speaker’s tour taking place from January 10 – 15 with stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Eugene, Portland, Tacoma and Seattle.

For more information, contact the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign at (503) 736-9777

Wednesday, January 12, 12:00 Noon, Outside Senator Wyden’s office at 911 NE 11th Ave
Rally Against the Korea FTA
Oregon Can’t Afford Another NAFTA-Style Trade Deal!

The largest free trade agreement since NAFTA is about to be introduced for a vote in Congress. This decidedly unfair trade deal would cost Oregon thousands of family-wage jobs, put the state’s land use and environmental laws in jeopardy and hand still more power to Wall Street. It’s not too late to stop this horrendous trade deal, but we need to act now! Join displaced workers, the unemployed and labor leaders from Oregon and South Korea in saying “NO WAY to the Korea FTA!” outside the office of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden — the Chair of the Senate Trade Subcommittee.

For more info, call the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign at (503) 736-9777. Learn more and take action online now at


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