U.S. autoworkers worried that new free-trade agreements threaten their jobs got reassurance from an unlikely source on Friday – the president of South Korea, a noted champion of the Korean auto industry. President Lee Myung-bak, speaking at a General Motors plant in Orion Township, Mich., gave his personal pledge that the Korean-U.S. trade agreement that Congress just approved is good news for them.
“I know, folks, that some of you here may think that with the implementation of the KORUS FTA, that somehow your jobs may be exported or go somewhere else,” he said. “But let me tell you one thing: That is not true.”
When the applause died down, Lee added, “I am here with President Obama today because I want to give this promise to you, and that is that the KORUS FTA will not take away any of your jobs. Rather, it will create more jobs for you and your family, and it is going to protect your job. And that is the pledge that I give you today.”
As an added touch, Lee also donned the cap of the local favorites, the Detroit Tigers, currently battling the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series.