While President Obama and corporate lobbyists attempt to sell the Korea trade deal, South Korean farmers and a mass of labor and environmental organizations in the United States are strongly and clearly opposed. Protesters depicted in the video below urged the South Korean government to abolish the trade deal “fearing it would harm both agricultural producers and cattle farmers.”
Public outrage about the deal in the United States is no surprise as a September 2010 NBC/WSJ poll found that 69% of Americans believe free trade agreements with other countries have cost jobs in the United States. View a compilation of statements in opposition to the Korea trade deal here.
In another protest in Seoul on Sunday, Lee Chun-seok, spokesman for the main opposition Democratic Party, accused the government of making "massive concessions against our national interests," his party said. "We cannot find the principle of reciprocity anywhere in the agreement."
It is clear that President Obama did not take stock of American citizens’ opinions nor South Koreans’ welfare when reaching a decision to push the Korea trade deal. Now it is up to the 112th Congress to decide whether to settle for the deeply flawed pact or reject another NAFTA-style deal with no realistic promise of benefitting Americans or South Koreans.