U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5) criticized the South Korea, Colombia, and Panama Trade Agreements Thursday.
“I look forward to a fair trade agreement I can support, but after a lot of research and consultation, the South Korea, Colombia, and Panama Free Trade Agreements did not fit the bill. These agreements had potential to offer America’s economy breathing room in an otherwise tight marketplace. Fair trade — not just free trade — is important to Minnesota and the entire country.
“It’s been argued these agreements will help American businesses and lead to job growth. But, large corporations already have $2 trillion in profits yet the stagnant employment rate shows they are not hiring U.S. workers. Clearly, profits don’t equal prosperity. It is wrong to encourage sending jobs overseas while asking Americans to buy products that can and should have been made here.
“Rewarding nations like Colombia that has allowed 23 citizens to be executed this year alone, simply because they were organizing unions, is an atrocity.
“America cannot continue to send jobs abroad, increase our trade deficits, and support threats to laborers who simply try to organize a union.
“My service to the Minnesotans of the Fifth District focuses on four key priorities; peace, working class prosperity, environmental sustainability and human rights. Sadly, these trade deals fail on every score.”