In a rousing speech from the Senate floor Sanders argued that thousands of North Koreans work in South Korea as near slaves to the North Korean military regime. Their wages, which come out to about thirty-five cents an hour, are paid to the regime rather than the workers. The goods created by those workers would be included under the pending FTA, Sanders argued.
“Some of the wages right now go to the North Korean government,” said Sanders. “[A] piece of the [free trade]action will be going to the most undemocratic, vicious government in the world.”
Sanders also complained that the pending FTA with Columbia would benefit an ant-union country and that the FTA with Panama would benefit a country often used as a tax haven for wealthy Americans.
Sanders along with Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) were two of just a few voices to speak out against the popular FTAs from the Senate floor on Wednesday as a long train of senators from both parties came down to argue that the long-awaited agreements would “create jobs.”