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February 18, 2011

Why We Should Care About U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

On February 27th the University of San Francisco is hosting a FREE conference on the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). This event will shed light on the complications of free trade and potential impacts of the KORUS agreement, the largest FTA since NAFTA.

Why Should We Care?

KORUS is controversial, like trade policy always is, for many reasons. Trade can promote deregulation, encourage outsourcing and cost domestic jobs. Strong opposition from environmentalists is often directed at provisions that expand already extensive investor rights. The investor-state dispute mechanism in the investment chapter allows foreign investors, or corporations, to sue governments when they feel profits are threatened.

KORUS includes this dispute mechanism and is particularly significant because Korea is a major economic power and exporter. The United States has won all investor-state suits to this day, but in the instance that the U.S. judicial system must defend public interest and environmental laws challenged by Korean investors the tides may turn.

In order to plan for and mitigate global warming in the U.S. and abroad states and the federal government must be able to pass legislation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. These laws are already vulnerable, but would become more vulnerable in investor-state disputes with Korean investors because of Korea’s economic power and robust judicial system.

Speakers include:

Christine Ahn, Korea Policy Center
Tim Robertson, California Fair Trade Coalition
Dorothy Kidd, Professor USF Media Studies
Ian Fletcher, Economist
Clarence Thomas, ILWU Local 10 former Secretary Treasurer
Paul Liem, Korea Policy Expert
Cindy Sheehan, Anti-War and Human Rights Activist
George Wright, AFT 1492 Professor Skyline College UPWA
Pablo Rodriquez, AFT 2121 Professor
Korea Mediact, Representative streamed live from Korea

Additional Details:

"KORUS Another NAFTA?" US KORUS Free Trade Agreement & The Korean Peninsula
Sunday February 27, 2011 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
University Of San Francisco McClaren Hall
Fulton St & Clayton St. San Francisco

To learn more about the conference or to attend click here.

Video will also be streamed live at: http://www.labortech.net

-- Rachel Ackoff, Sierra Club's Responsible Trade Program


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