Why we're still negotiating a trade deal with South Korea

Thursday, November 25, 2010; 5:52 PM

Regarding the Nov. 18 editorial "How not to make a deal": In negotiating a trade deal with South Korea, President George W. Bush's administration wrote off American manufacturers. As it stands, the proposed South Korea deal would phase out U.S. tariffs on Korean autos without ensuring meaningful access for American-made cars in the largely closed Korean car market.

So much for "free" trade when Korea remains closed. But as we see with a reinvigorated domestic auto industry, American manufacturing is not yesterday's news. Fortunately, President Obama understands that this trade deal, as currently negotiated, is a step backward for American auto manufacturers. He did not settle for a bad deal just for the sake of a deal. Demanding that trade agreements work for American exporters isn't protectionism; it's common sense.

Sherrod Brown, Washington

The writer, a Democrat, is a U.S. senator from Ohio.

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