Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Opposes Free Trade Agreements

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Wednesday October 12, 2011

For Immediate Release: 10/12/2011
Contact: Mahen Gunaratna, (202) 225-4506

“These Trade Agreements Will Place a Downward Pressure on the Wages of Working Families. I Have No Choice But to Oppose These Well-Intentioned, But Ultimately Flawed, Trade Deals.”

Frederica Wilson stands against Free Trade agreements.Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Wilson announced her opposition to the three free trade agreements brought before the U.S. House of Representatives. The Congresswoman recently underwent minor surgery, which kept her from casting a formal vote. Had she been present, she would have voted no on all three trade deals.

“After careful consideration, I have concluded that these free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea place downward pressure on the wages of working families, and do not serve the best interests of American workers or the people of my district. I have no choice but to oppose these well-intentioned, but ultimately flawed, trade deals.

“Colombia leads the world in assassinations of union members, who routinely face harassment and intimidation in the workplace. Nearly 3,000 union assassinations have taken place in the country over the past 25 years. More union workers were murdered in Columbia last year than in the rest of the world combined.  Workers deserve to be able to exercise their basic right to organize – freely and without fear. I simply cannot support such blatant violations of human rights.

“Additionally, I fear that the Korea deal would export good-paying jobs at the expense of American workers.  Further, the Panama agreement would validate one of the world’s top offshore tax havens. At a time of record job losses, we cannot afford to endorse shelters for multinational companies that avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

“We cannot afford to lose any more quality American jobs.  I cannot support these agreements. Free trade agreements can work, but we must ensure that these agreements have protections for our workers here and workers abroad.”

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Rep. Frederica S. Wilson is a first-term congresswoman representing the 17th District of Florida, including Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward Counties. She is a former state legislator and school principal and the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school.

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