President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the...

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Oct. 6, 2011) Credit: AP

We need a jobs deal now, not unfair trade agreements ["Obama challenged on trade," News, Oct. 3]. Congress is getting ready to take up unfair, job-offshoring trade deals.

Here's why the three pending trade agreements are a bad deal for working families:

The South Korea agreement is the biggest free-trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement implemented in 1994. It could displace an estimated 159,000 U.S. jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think-tank.

Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world for trade unionists. So how can we reward it with a free-trade agreement? In 2010, 51 trade unionists were assassinated in Colombia. Would we reward a country where 51 chief executives were killed last year?

Panama, with a history of failing to protect workers' rights, is known as a tax haven for money launderers and tax dodgers.

We need Congress to represent working people, who are taxpayers, not corporations that do not pay taxes. Nobody can say that we do not need to rebuild our roadways, bridges, tunnels, ports, railways and airports. Put America first. Allow American workers to demonstrate again that we are the very best in the world.

Brian Schneck, Hicksville

Editor's note: The writer is the president of Local 259 of the United Auto Workers.


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