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UAW Breaks With Labor Allies

Union endorses S. Korea free trade pact.

by on Oct.14, 2011

UAW President Bob King breaks with labor colleagues over new U.S. free trade pact.

On the eve of President Barack Obama’s visit to a General Motors Assembly plant outside Detroit to sign a new free trade pact with South Korea, the United Auto Workers broke with other unions by endorsing the new agreement.

“The UAW is pleased with congressional approval of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement,” the UAW said in a statement issued on the eve of the President’s visit to the Detroit area. The Orion plant was apparently selected for the signing ceremony because it is building a car that had been imported into the U.S. from South Korea up until this summer.

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“The revised agreement,” said UAW President Bob King, “creates significantly greater market access for American auto exports and contains strong, auto-specific safeguards to protect our domestic markets from potentially harmful surges of Korean automotive imports.”

The UAW has been critical of U.S. trade policy and practices for more than 30 years but King said he is satisfied with provisions of the new deal with Korea.