USW cites failure of Korea Free Trade Agreement

March 13, 2014

The United Steelworkers (USW), Washington, D.C., have joined members of Congress and private-sector experts in declaring the U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS-FTA) has fallen far short of job promises and improvements in trade balances after two years.

"Government data, congressional voices, and economic studies confirm that the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement has failed us," USW President Leo W. Gerard said. "It has failed to produce good jobs, and the evidence on exports is clear. Our export growth rate in the past 20 out of 21 months is below the average monthly level seen before the FTA was signed."

The U.S. - South Korea trade deficit has reached a historic high of $20.67 billion this year, which is a $7.4 billion (56 percent) increase from 2011 — the year before KORUS took effect. And the government numbers continue to get worse in each of the following years, with U.S. exports down $1.8 billion since 2011 and $700 million since 2012.