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Letter to the Editor - Jan. 8

January 08, 2013

Free Trade Agreement hasn’t done what was promised

To the editor:

Despite some opposition from the congressional Democrats, President Obama signed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. He declared that the agreement will expand U.S. trade and create new jobs.

Now the data is in, and it shows that the agreement approved by Congress (All Republicans and some Democrats) is not meeting its promise. In fact, exports to South Korea have declined, imports from South Korea and Colombia have surged. The majority of Americans see these deals as destroying rather than creating U.S. jobs. Reported figures are as follows: Exports to Korea declined by 9 percent while imports increased 29 percent, including Colombia. It is claimed that the agreement that is supposed to create new jobs in the U.S. instead inflicted a net loss of 15,000 jobs.

This was also the case with NAFTA, signed by President Clinton, again promising jobs creation in the U.S.. After signing the agreement, the U.S. has developed a deficit in trading with Canada and Mexico.

In the five months that the South Korea agreement has been in effect, imports of cars and auto parts have increased $1.8 billion above 2011 levels for the same time period. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to see that the FTA agreement was a bad deal for the U.S., contrary to what its proponents have stated. Why did President Obama sign this agreement even though it was initiated during the Bush presidency? Well, I wish I knew the answer.

S.V. Yumlu
Hagerstown

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