Down with the US-South Korea FTA and neoliberal globalization!

We are here to express our opposition to the proposed Korea-U.S. FTA.

The events of the past days show that the governments of both countries cannot be trusted. The negotiations take place behind closed doors and when the people come out to be heard, to have a simple press conference, they are confronted by hundreds of riot police who overwhelm the press conference with brute force. Don't pretend this is democracy. We must ask this question: if the FTA is so good for the working people and farmers of Korea, if it is a treaty based on equality and not an expression of economic colonialism, why is the Korean government trying to suppress the right of its won people to freely express their viewpoint? This violation of free speech rights may be appreciated by the U.S. government and U.S. Agribusiness corporations as they fast track FTA's implementation but it is proof that the FTA is actually harmful to the Korean people.

Americans workers will also suffer from the FTA just as they lost rights and jobs under NAFTA. We witnessed tremendous job losses under the NAFTA. Meanwhile, farmers in Mexico were wiped out by corn and other U.S. agricultural products. Faced with literal starvation 8 to 10 million Mexican emigrated to the United States where they are super-exploited and treated as criminals subjected to mass arrests and deportations if they dare organize unions. U.S. corporations moved into Mexico, sold products at very low prices, forced Mexican farmers and industries into bankruptcy when they could not sell their products, and then turned around and raised prices after the Mexican "competition" was destroyed. The Korean people cannot truly desire this outcome since it benefits only U.S. transnational corporations and banks.

The Korean government seems to assert that the Korean situation is different from that of NAFTA countries and it is ignoring the lessons of NAFTA.

We, however, believe that the on-going FTA is on exactly the same track with the NAFTA. Perhaps it will be even more destructive. Can anyone imagine a sovereign government agreeing before the opening of negotiations that it will end programs to help low income and elderly sick people receive low cost medicines? Yet, in the face of pressure from the U.S. government as it represents the interests of large pharamacuetical, this is precisely what the Korean did. That is shameful. No one should listen to the U.S. government when it comes to health care policy since 46 million Americans cannot go to the doctor when they are sick because they are workers who have no health care insurance. Forty six million is three million more than when Bush took office in 2001. It is also no less than the entire population of South Korea. The U.S. has a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. We urge you to reject their economic model.

The United States has a $12 trillion economy, the largest in the history of the world. Yet workers are losing their jobs, their health care benefits and their pensions. Poverty is growing rapidly and the U.S. now has more than 2.1 million people in prison -- the highest rate in the world. Just imagine how destructive this "corporation first" model will be for the Korean people if the U.S. imposes the FTA -- a new form of economic colonialism.

We, in the ANSWER Coalition and all those in the U.S. peace movement and the U.S. labor movement are here to show solidarity with Korean people, global workers solidarity is the only hope, the only real solution to the government and corporate plan to have us compete with each other in a race toward the bottom. In unity there is stength and in unity we can fightback and win!

Down with the KorUS FTA and Neoliberal globalization!

Participants of International Conference against the KorUS FTA

2006. 7. 11
Total 19
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