The Spectacle Blog

Labor Unions for Trade?

By on 12.12.10 | 5:21AM

Egads!  The UAW backs the free trade agreement with South Korea.  Here's a labor union for trade and the lefties aren't happy.  Reports In These Times:

Yesterday, I interviewed UAW President Bob King at length, who dismissed many of Hamsher's claims as merely an attempt to grab headlines. King said, "I'm very supportive of the agreement because it really protects UAW members. Pickup trucks and SUVS will have full 25% tariff until year seven, passenger vehicles have full protection until year five. It opens up the Korean market to 75,000 American cars a year and it has protections against import surges. The Korea Free Trade Agreement is one of the far best treaties for auto as far as I've seen."

Notably, the UAW is not for genuinely free trade. King likes having tariffs supporting the domestic industry.  Nevertheless, he is backing an agreement that generally expands markets and commerce for both countries.  It is a far more promising strategy for U.S. labor than seeking to close America to the outside world.

Of course, In These Times is horrified and can only argue that the UAW is a captive union.  The idea that an expanding economy is the best strategy to benefit workers is beyond its imagination.

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