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Union Split Over Korea Trade Pact Heating Up

UAW defends pro-free trade position.

by on Dec.10, 2010

The UAW finds itself on the pro side of free trade - and taking heat from other unions.

The AFL-CIO has ramped up its vocal split with the United Auto Workers by announcing its opposition to the trade deal with South Korea, which the UAW has endorsed.

The announcement underscores the growing rift the UAW faces in an increasingly divided labor movement.  With rare exception, other unions are bitterly opposed to the trade deal despite concessions that the autoworkers believe will open up the Korean market while delaying any changes that could boost Korea’s share of the U.S. automotive market.

Rich Trumka, AFL-CIO president, said the proposed U.S.-Korea trade deal does not live up to the fair trade model and does not contribute to a sustainable global future.

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“We believe we must move towards a more democratic, sustainable and fair global economy with broadly shared prosperity for working people around the world.  Reaching that goal will require deep-seated reforms in current trade policy, as well as in our own domestic labor laws and other policies,” said Trumka, who praised the Obama administration for attempting to address concerns of American autoworkers.


Ford CEO to Serve on President’s Export Council

Ford exec Alan Mulally will advise on “export enhancement.”

by on Jul.07, 2010

Where are the jobs, Mr. President?

Ford CEO Alan Mulally will serve on the President’s Export Council (PEC) the White House announced today.

“Export growth leads to job growth and economic growth,” Obama said, as he named 18 business, labor and government leaders to a new export advisory council, “at a time when jobs are in short supply, building exports is an imperative.”

“President Obama recently set a national goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years. We applaud this forward-looking goal and I am honored to serve on the President’s Export Council and work toward helping America achieve it,” Mulally said in a Ford statement.

Ford Motor already exports about 250,000 vehicles annually – the equivalent of one final assembly plant, not including associated engine, transmission and other parts component plants. Vehicles exported from North America include the E-Series, Escape, Escape Hybrid, Expedition, Explorer, Focus, F-150, F-Series Super Duty, Mariner, MKS, Mustang, Mountaineer, Navigator, Ranger, and Taurus models.

It wasn’t immediately clear if this includes “exports” to Canada, and we await verification from Ford.

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“At Ford, we believe an export-driven strategy is critical to achieving our shared goals of economic growth, job creation and a sustainable future. One thing is certain, for exports to grow we must ensure that market access for manufactured goods remains at the center of U.S. trade policy,” said Mulally.