ANSWER statement: "Down with the KORUS FTA!"

Statement from the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
to the Week of Action Opposing the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement
September 2006, Seattle

Almost from the moment that he took office in 2001, President George W. Bush has displayed an antagonistic attitude toward the Korean people. On the political front he made it clear in his March 2001 meeting with then Korean President Kim Dae Jung that the U.S. government wanted to dash any hopes for a possible peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Instead he chose to threaten new military actions against the people of North Korea.

Since that time he has forced the South Korean government to send troops to join in the criminal and illegal war against Iraq.These actions have been enough to create deep resentment and opposition from the Korean people toward the endless bullying by the government in Washington DC.

Now with the attempt to ram the so-called Free Trade Agreement down the throat of the people of South Korea we see an effort by the White House to aggressively plunge Korea into a new type of colonialism. It is a form of economic colonialism. Korean farmers and workers will pay a heavy price, and Korean sovereignty itself will be seriously damaged.

As partners in the so-called Free Trade Agreement with the United States, the South Korean government will be forced to surrender the interests of its own people in order to protect the interests of U.S. Agribusiness, U.S. mega-corporations and U.S. banks.

This Free Trade is not free at all. It allows the imperialist government and the imperialist corporations who have become rich and powerful from a century of colonial plunder and exploitation to dictate the terms of the new economic colonialism.

It is not "free" - it comes at a heavy price. It is free for the corporations but that is because the farmers and workers pay the entire cost. And it will be the average workers and farmers not only in South Korea, but in the United States too, who will be giving a free ride to their exploiters. In the United States the corporations are destroying decent paying jobs, union jobs, pensions and health care insurance and "running away" to wherever they can pay workers a lower wage.

They hope that working people in different countries will compete with each other as we race toward the bottom - as we race to see who will be able to satisfy the profit-lust of the corporations by offering our labor for a lower and lower price.

But these demonstrations offer a powerful example of unity. Instead of fighting each other, the working people of Korea and the United States can stand together. We can stand in solidarity. It is our only hope. We can do it and we are doing it!

We in the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition have organized millions of people in the streets in the last few years to oppose the criminal war of aggression waged against Iraq.  We understand that the goal of Bush was not to eliminate weapons of mass destruction nor was it to liberate Iraq. It was to impose a new economic colonialism on a small but oil-rich nation. We understand that Bush is trying to use other methods, including the U.S.-South Korean Free Trade Agreement, to do the same thing to the people of Korea.

Let us unite. Let us deepen and broaden the movement of international solidarity between the workers movement, the movement of farmers and those who are fighting to oppose war, militarism and colonialism.

Down with the KORUS FTA!
Stop all meddling in the affairs of the Korean people!
Say NO to Economic Colonialism!

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