Resolution Supporting Final Ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

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The Resolution Supporting the Ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement was adopted by ALEC's International Relations Task Force at the States and Nation Policy Summit, December 3, 2010, and approved by the ALEC Board of Directors in January 7, 2011. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

CMD's Bill Summary

From its 1998 resolution in support of "Fast Track" Trade Promotion Authority -- which was used to push a permanent normal trading relationship with China through Congress in 2000 with little discussion or debate-- to more recent resolutions in support of the proposed Colombia, Panama and Korea Free Trade Agreements, ALEC has consistently urged its members to support a radical "free trade" agenda. This free trade agenda has cost America millions of jobs as factories closed and moved overseas in search of cheaper labor. Since 2001, an estimated 2.4 million American jobs have been lost to China alone. Now a diverse array of service sector jobs, from accounting and tax preparation to health care and credit card servicing, are being off-shored under these agreements. Such free trade agreements also allow public health, consumer, environmental and worker safety rules to be challenged as "barriers to trade" in trade tribunals that operate outside the constraints of U.S. law.

ALEC has also been a major promoter of the U.S. tobacco industry, which seeks to hook new generations of smokers on their products around the world. Reynolds Tobacco Reynolds Tobacco was the corporate co-chair of the International Relations Task Force of ALEC. ALEC has a trade resolution specifically targeting the European Union ban on Snus, a moist tobacco product often marketed to the young with fruit flavors. Reynolds produces Camel Snus in four flavors and is not happy that this dangerous product is banned in most of Europe. Note that ALEC maintains a list of "International Delegates," which are elected government officials around the world.

ALEC Bill Text

WHEREAS, the United States and the Republic of Korea signed the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) in June of 2007; and

WHEREAS, President Obama has committed to passing the KORUS FTA; and

WHEREAS, the KORUS FTA is still awaiting Congressional approval; and

WHEREAS, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) policy on free trade claims that: "the imposition of artificial barriers to free and open trade ... are deterrents to American economic interests;" and

WHEREAS, if approved, the KORUS FTA would be the most significant U.S. FTA in more than 16 years; and

WHEREAS, protectionism is gaining momentum around the world, passing the KORUS FTA at this time would send a strong signal to U.S. trading partners that America's historic commitment to free trade and economic liberalization remains strong; and

WHEREAS, the Republic of Korea is the 15th largest economy in the world; and

WHEREAS, the Republic of Korea is the United States' seventh largest export market and is a major customer for goods such as civil aircraft, electronics and technology, industrial machinery, plastics, chemicals, agricultural products including beef, and services and

WHEREAS, an FTA between the Republic of Korea and the United States would make 94% of all trade between the two countries duty-free within three years and would eliminate most remaining tariffs within the next decade; and

WHEREAS, lower tariffs would increase demand for U.S. exports in the Republic of Korea; and

WHEREAS, the KORUS FTA would strengthen our economic and strategic alliance with the Republic of Korea; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. deficit is growing, and the KORUS FTA will provide a private sector led stimulus by increasing exports and will contribute to America's economic recovery at no cost to U.S. taxpayers; and

WHEREAS, that the Republic of Korea, has finalized an agreement with the European Union (EU) which is expected to go into effect in July 1, 2011; and

WHEREAS, the agreement with the EU will put U.S. market share and jobs in industrial and agriculture sectors at a significant competitive disadvantage; and

WHEREAS, this trade agreement will contribute up to $12 billion to the economy; and

WHEREAS, China's trade with South Korea has been expanding rapidly, necessitating an American response to avoid being left behind; and

NOW THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED that ALEC applauds the support of the current and previous presidential administrations for the KORUS FTA and their effort to negotiate and shape the agreement; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ALEC calls on the U.S. Congress to approve the United States-Korean Free Trade Agreement without further delay for the benefit of the United States economy and national security.