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Americans oppose ‘free-trade’ deals, now more than ever

With free trade agreements between the United States and Panama, South Korea and Colombia set to hit the congressional floor as soon as this month, AFL-CIO Now calls attention to recent polling that shows American voters are overwhelmingly opposed to these NAFTA-like trade deals because they send U.S. jobs overseas. And the opposition is growing as the nation’s job crisis deepens and more Americans are out of work longer.

As Congressional Republicans hold the federal government hostage with their dangerous political game of chicken over the U.S. debt limit, the Obama administration and leaders of both parties seem oblivious to the jobs crisis. Now Congress is poised to vote on these FTAs at the behest of powerful corporate interests. And it will do so despite FTA opposition that spans the partisan divide — with 65% of union members and 61% of Tea Party sympathizers saying FTAs cost U.S. jobs.

A May 2011 Pew Research poll finds that Americans’ No. 1 foreign policy priority is “protecting the jobs of U.S. workers.” At 84%, it ranks ahead of “reducing dependence on foreign energy,” “reducing military commitments overseas,” and is now a bigger public priority than “protecting the U.S. from terrorism.” Read that again, Americans believe foreign policies that protect our jobs are now more important than protecting us from terrorism.

And what does the American public blame for the loss of U.S. workers’ jobs overseas? Globalization and NAFTA-like free trade agreements. An NBC/WALL Street Journal poll found that 69% of Americans believe FTAs have cost U.S. jobs, while just 18% believe they have created jobs.

In November, Pew reported that “support for free trade agreements is now at one of the lowest points in 13 years of Pew Research Center surveys… many more Americans say free trade agreements have a negative rather than a positive impact on jobs in the U.S., wages for U.S. workers, and economic growth in this country.”

And yet, the Obama administrati0n has adopted these Bush-negotiated FTAs as its own, and there appears to be little question among the usually poll-obsessed political pundits about whether these FTAs will pass Congress. The only question is whether Republicans will also succeed in eliminating a decades-old program designed to temporarily assist the U.S. victims of free trade policies whose jobs get sent overseas.

Don’t just get mad… TAKE A STAND!

Tell your senators and representatives to stop these FTAs and get to work promoting job growth in the United States, rather than offshoring American jobs. CLICK HERE to send them a message now.

WASHINGTON STATE RESIDENTS are urged to insert the following language to your message: Also, insist on reauthorization of a robust Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which disproportionately benefits displaced workers and companies in Washington State. See for more information.

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