Dear community members, friends, and comrades:

President Obama has just introduced the Korea, Colombia, and Panama Free Trade Agreements to Congress for an approval vote, last Monday and these FTA agreements are to be voted by the Congress on October 12, 2011 Wednesday.  This is our very last chance to stop these agreements in the U.S.

All of these agreements are toxic.

• The Korea Free Trade Agreement would become the biggest trade pact of its type since NAFTA.  It would displace a net 159,000 good-paying U.S. jobs in manufacturing, high-tech and green-tech.

• The Colombia Free Trade Agreement would reward human rights violators in the deadliest place in the world to be a trade unionist.  In 2010, at least 51 trade unionists were assassinated in Colombia — more than in the rest of the world combined.  So far in 2011, another 22 have also been killed, despite Colombia’s so-called “Labor Action Plan.” Would Congress reward a country were 51 CEOs were gunned down in one year?

• The Panama Free Trade Agreement would make it harder to crack down on U.S. money launderers and tax dodgers in a notorious offshore tax haven, in addition to endangering the environment and natural ecology of Panama. 

We support trade between the U.S. and Korea – but it has to be a fair trade that supports jobs, people, affordable healthcare, food justice, environmental protections, and stable economies in both countries. Korea-US FTA will destroy farmers’ lives in both countries and make everyone more dependent on corporate, GMO food–that’s why the National Family Farm Coalition in the US opposes it, as well as the Korean Peasants League.

People in Korea are working hard to defeat the bill there. Here in the U.S. there is a national call-in to Congress. People everywhere are going to call, but the Congresspeople need to hear from Korean Americans on the Korea FTA especially. It is an uphill battle but there is a chance. Remember that CAFTA (the Central American Free Trade Agreement) only passed in Congress by one vote.

Our nation-wide coordinated actions today are going to make a difference! Please make a call AND send emails to your Congresspeople now. 

1.) Call AFL-CIO toll free number, 1-800-718-1008.  When prompted, dial in your zip code and you’ll be connected to the office of your U.S. Representative by phone.  You will either get a staff person, or you will be asked to leave a message. Once connected, say something like: “I want my Congressperson to oppose the Korea, Panama and Colombia Free Trade Agreements.” A sample script is at the bottom of this page. 

2.) Please go here

Please put in your zip code and your address.  The website will let you write an email to the House Representative. You will have a sample email template so that you can just sign and date the email. 

Please spread the words far out.  Today and tomorrow we can still stop these unfair FTAs.

Sample telephone script:

“Hello, my name is _______. I am calling from your city, your state [or I am a Korean American voter, living in your city, your state. I am calling to urge the Congresswoman [or Congressman] to vote NO on the Korea Free Trade Agreement that will happen today or tomorrow. I also oppose the Colombia and Panama Free Trade Agreements. I am not persuaded that these agreements will more jobs or improve our lives. I am asking the Congresswoman [or Congressman] not to hurry these deals, and to STOP these trade deals from passing. Thank you.”