Alliance for Democracy

Obama in Hillsboro|Protests about Korea Free Trade Agreement

Posted in Investor Protection Clauses, Korea Free Trade Agreement, South Korea Free Trade Agreement by Alliance for Democracy Portland OR on February 18, 2011
President Obama will be in Hillsboro OR at the Intel plant on Friday February 18, and, while this is short notice, I hope that some of you might be able to be there and greet him as part of a protest rally against his plans to bring the US -Korea Free Trade Agreement up for a vote.  All the details are below. 

And for more details on the agreement, the investor-protection clauses, what gets counted as an American made auto (made in America could mean made in China), how labor is treated in Korea, and how the agreement would impact the ability of both governments to gain control over their financial sectors, read this informative article by Lori Wallach, The Korea Trade Deal Is a Lose-Lose.  Another article worth reading is this one by Ian Fletcher, Stop the Korea Free Trade Agreement. Read more by Ian on his blog.

While many of you will not be able to be there (I have to work), you can read the above information and write to the editor of the Oregonian (and your US Representative), explaining why you oppose this Bush written, now Obama pushed agreement.  And that article by Ian has some good quotes from when Obama was on the campaign trail.  At that time he was opposed to the agreement.

David Delk | 503.232.5495 |

Mr. President:  Oregon Can’t Afford Another Job-Killing Trade Deal

Speak Out Against the Korea Free Trade Agreement — the Largest Since NAFTA
Press Event & Rally
Friday, February 18  *  9:30 – 11:00 am
Main Gate at Intel’s Ronler Acres Facility
2501 NW 229th Ave
Hillsboro, Oregon
President Obama will be touring an Intel plant in Hillsboro on Friday, talking about steps to make the U.S. more competitive in the global economy.  Meanwhile, the Obama administration is expected to introduce the Korea Free Trade Agreement for a vote in Congress literally any day now.
Join displaced workers, fair trade activists and others outside the Intel Ronler Acres plant’s main gate to demonstrate Oregon’s opposition to the Korea FTA.  The Korea pact is the largest FTA since NAFTA, and is projected to displace 888,000 American jobs within just seven years.  Employees in high-tech electronics industries like semiconductors and solar panels are expected to be among the biggest losers under this trade deal.
Please do your best to arrive on time so that we have the biggest crowd possible at our rally for the cameras.  We’ll then stick around to welcome the President.  There is legal parking available at Hondo Dog Park, less than a half-mile north of our rally site, at 4499 NW 229th Ave (just north of Evergreen Parkway).  From US-26 West take exit 62A for Cornelius Pass Rd South.  Merge onto Cornelius Pass and travel 0.6 miles, then take a right on Evergreen Parkway and go another 0.6 miles.  When you hit 229th, Hondo Dog Park will be on your right, Intel on your left.
If at all possible, please RSVP to with your email address and cell phone number.  We’ll then let you know the latest the night before and the morning of the rally — including about informal “shuttle service” from the Dog Park to the rally.
Arthur Stamoulis
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
(503) 736-9777

Background on How Obama’s Trade Policy Threatens Oregon Tech Jobs:

Obama’s Trade Pact with South Korea Nearing a Vote: U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced at a Congressional hearing on February 9th that the Obama administration will introduce the Korea Free Trade Agreement for a vote in Congress “in the next few weeks.” The Korea Trade Pact Would Hurt Tech Jobs: The U.S. International Trade Commission’s official study on the Korea Free Trade Agreement projects it will increase the U.S. trade deficit in electronics — a category that includes sectors like semiconductors and solar panels — by $762 – 790 million.  The study also predicts that the trade pact will include the overall U.S. trade deficit. 

Oregon’s Silicon Forest Hurt by Past Trade Policies: According to an April 2010 study, Oregon’s 1st Congressional District lost a net 14,600 jobs due to imbalanced trade with China between 2001 and 2008 — the first seven years after Congress allowed China to join the World Trade Organization.  This was 3.76% of the district’s total employment, representing the 9th highest net job loss due to trade with China out of every district in the nation.  The state as a whole has lost 38,500 jobs — the 5th highest in the nation, as a percentage of total employment.

Intel Employees Among Those Displaced by Unbalanced Trade: Intel employees have repeatedly been certified for “Trade Adjustment Assistance” by the U.S. Labor Department both in Oregon and across the country — meaning that their jobs were either directly offshored or displaced by imports.  The most recent certification was in 2010 for displaced workers from Hillsboro.  Workers at Oregon firms like InFocus, Symantec, Tyco Electronics, Sumco, Pixelworks and more have also had their jobs offshored.

Former Intel CEO Warns Against Offshoring: According to Andy Grove, a senior advisory to Intel, as well as its former CEO or Chairman from 1987 until 2005, “The great Silicon Valley innovation machine hasn’t been creating many jobs of late — unless you’re counting Asia, where American tech companies have been adding jobs like mad for years… Foxconn employs over 800,000 people, more than the combined worldwide headcount of Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Sony.”  Grove warns against making an “unquestioned truism” of the notion that “the free market is the best of all economic systems.”


Offshoring Limits Local Offshoots from Intel’s Success: According to The Oregonian, “Intel’s growth in Oregon has not fed overall growth in the state’s tech sector. While the chip maker’s Oregon work force has expanded considerably over the past 15 years, overall tech employment is down statewide.”  The newspaper reports that many Intel alumni believe this is because Intel represents “an industry that has largely migrated overseas.”

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