Tell the Senate to Reject the Korea-U.S. Trade Agreement!
This time, they’re pushing a NAFTA-style trade pact with Korea that prohibits countries from banning risky financial products and services, among other regulatory limits that put banks’ profits before economic stability and jobs. But we won’t let it happen.
You can tell a lot about a trade deal by who is hyping it. Bailed out banks like Citigroup love the Korea trade pact. They say it has “the best financial services chapter negotiated in a free trade agreement to date.” But who wants to support financial policies celebrated by megabanks that helped wreck the economy?
This NAFTA clone helps big banks’ short term interests, at the expense of the rest of us. Consider this example: in 1997, the Korean economy collapsed when financial speculators treated the country like a casino and pushed crazy amounts of money in and out of the country. Some of this bad behavior resurfaced in the most recent financial crisis too.
Korea responded in 1997 and again a decade later by utilizing what are known as capital controls — basically speed bumps that slow down the capital floods and flights. But the NAFTA-style deal with Korea would prohibit restrictions of big corporations’ ability to make these hasty speculative transfers — even when economic crisis or hardship could be avoided by doing so. Oh yeah, and the big banks could even demand that taxpayers pay them off millions of bucks in compensation if our governments even try to use these important economic stability policy tools.
Have we learned nothing from the global financial crisis?
Both the U.S. and Korea have tried to reign in the job-killing behavior of Wall Street over the last few years, and more remains to be done. The last thing we need is a NAFTA-style deal with Korea that will limit our ability to regulate the financial casino that is harming Main Street.
If the rest of us are tightening our belts, corporations shouldn’t treat our democracy as their all-you-can-eat meal ticket.
Info from Public Citizen