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Korea-US FTA News Update

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Thank you for your action and support against FTA!



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Hello, community members, friends, supporters and comrades of Nodutdol,

On Wednesday Oct. 12, 2011, the United States Congress passed the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) along with the Colombia-US and Panama-US FTAs. While President Obama still needs to sign these bills to ratify them, passage is likely. In South Korea, the conservative-dominated National Assembly is also likely to pass the bills. The passage of the KORUS FTA is a great blow to the working people, farmers, and ecosystems of both the United States and South Korea, at a time when unemployment and economic hardship is at a historic high, and there is general consensus that the existing NAFTA trade model must change.

For Nodutdol, stopping the passage of the KORUS FTA has been part of our organizing since May 2006, when, along with KAFT (Korean American for Fair Trade) and KAWAN (Korean Americans against War And Neoliberalism), we fought to stop the undemocratic trade negotiations in cities all over the US, and then, in the past year, to lift the voice of everyday people to Congressional representatives all over the country. We conducted days of online/call-in action and signature gathering drives at multiple points and in NY communities throughout the year, and you responded. In 2011 alone, we appealed to and visited Representatives Ackerman, Clarke, Towns, Rangel, and Rothman with our New York and New Jersey allies, and in the end, 2/3 of the House Democrats voted against the Korea-US trade bill, a historic high at a time when the president is from the same party. The fact that districts with high concentrations of Koreans, including those of Ackerman and Rothman, show the reach of South Korean and Korean-American business interests, and how far we have still to go.

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We would like to take a moment to appreciate all of your action and support in this struggle, and invite you to continue to resist US and transnational corporate economic and military intervention with us. For this is not a single-issue struggle, but part of a broader push to concentrate profits in the hands of a few, and mobilizations all over the country, happening now, show that the majority of Americans and people all over the world have had enough. Nodutdol would like to acknowledge the efforts and solidarity of all the allies and comrades we have met along the way since 2006. Across the nation, KAFT has taken up the fight in their respective communities, while allies and former interns in DC have reported from the Congressional offices, and in the New York-New Jersey metro area, we have organized with fair trade, food safety, labor, human rights, environmental justice, HIV/AIDS rights, and so many other organizations and activists.

We ask you to consult the following list to see how your representative voted, and to please let them know, if they voted yes or no, how you feel about their vote. Let us acknowledge those legislators that made the right choice, with the working people of both countries, who voted against the Korea-US FTA, and tell those who voted for this destructive agreement that we will not forget their actions.

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About Nodutdol eNews

Nodutdol eNews is the monthly e-mail newsletter of Nodutdol.Through grassroots organization and community development, Nodutdol seeks to bridge divisions created by war, nation, gender, sexual orientation, language, classes and generation among Koreans and to empower our community to address the injustice we and other people of color face here and abroad. Nodutdol works in collaboration with other progressive organizations locally, nationally and internationally as part of a larger movement for peace and social change.

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