JOINT STATEMENT  ON CANADA KOREA TRADE NEGOTIATIONS

On the eve of the 12th round of negotiations between Canada and Korea for a trade deal, the Canadian Labour Congress and Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, representing over four million workers in both countries, call on our respective governments to immediately halt these trade talks.

This deal is wrong for workers in both countries.  It puts corporate profits ahead of the needs and interests of working people in both Canada and Korea.  It will damage Canada's manufacturing sector, which is already in crisis because of shifting global production and the soaring dollar.  Canada has lost more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs since 2002.  These have not been off-set by comparable new jobs, paying decent wages and benefits.  The Korean manufacturing sector will also be adversely affected. The trend towards irregular and precarious employment (already at 54% of the labour force) will only intensify as a result of such a trade deal.

In light of the serious manufacturing crisis, the devastating deterioration of Canada's automotive trade balance, as well as the serious risks facing the Korean agricultural sector posed by this agreement, we call on our respective governments to halt trade negotiations.  A process of real consultation with citizens must take place - one that will lead to an economic development strategy that will build our societies, rather than pit worker against worker.

By following the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) model,  the governments of both countries plan to entrench corporate rights at the expense of workers
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