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Paper mill workers oppose trade deal with South Korea

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The interior of a paper mill.
The interior of a paper mill.

UNDATED (WSAU) Workers who’ve been laid off from Wisconsin paper mills are asking Congress to reject a proposed free-trade agreement with South Korea. Lori Wallach of the Public Citizen group says the winner of next week’s U-S Senate election will vote on the biggest trade agreement since NAFTA in the 1990’s. The new deal was negotiated during in the last Bush administration. And Wallach says government researchers have found that it would create a greater U-S trade deficit and more jobs lost.

Wallach says Wisconsin has lost 80,000 jobs since the North American Free Trade Agreement was adopted a decade-and-a-half ago with Canada and Mexico. Some blame the closure of the New Page Kimberly mill on illegal product dumping by China. Last Friday, the International Trade Commission said China broke trade rules by importing coated papers to the U-S below cost – hurting the ability of Wisconsin paper-makers to compete.

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