President Trump is Meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in — and Talking Trade

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

A lot has been said about the Trump administration’s renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and its Section 232 investigations into steel and aluminum imports. Both are big deals.

Less has been said about the bilateral trade agreement between the United States and South Korea – known as KORUS. At least for the next few days, though, that will change.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is visiting Washington, D.C., where he and President Trump will meet for the first time on Thursday evening, and hold talks on Friday. They’re expected to talk about North Korea; a U.S.-backed missile defense system installed on the Korean peninsula that China doesn’t like; and the five-year-old KORUS deal. Trump, a loquacious man, was critical of the agreement on the campaign trail, and told reporters back in April he doesn’t like the li. The president at the time called the deal “a one-way street.”

Indeed, by some measures it has been. From Reuters:

The U.S. goods trade deficit with South Korea has more than doubled since KORUS took effect in 2012, from $13.2 billion in 2011 to $27.7 billion in 2016. It was forecast to boost U.S. exports by $10 billion a year, but they were $3 billion lower in 2016 than in 2011.

It looks like the Trump administration is gonna be tough on South Korean trade. It has signaled it plans to raise the American auto industry’s complaints about restrictive market access. To cite another specific example, it has already acted; the administration raised tariffs significantly on imports of certain South Korean steel products this year. Subsidized pipe (used by the energy industry for oil drilling), you will remember, flooded into the American market a few years ago, resulting in factory closures and thousands of U.S. layoffs.

According to reports, the president is planning for a “friendly and frank discussion” with President on trade.

President Moon, meanwhile, has brought with him promises to eradicate “unfair trade practices” and plans from South Korean manufacturing giant Samsung to open an appliance plant in South Carolina. It will ultimately employ 1,000 in the manufacture of washing machines.

That may help grease the skids on Friday’s meeting. We’ll be keeping an eye on President Trump’s opinions on South Korean trade over the next few days.

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Reposted from AAM.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work