Your suggestion in a July 28 editorial that Congress should pass three more trade deals that repeat all the mistakes we made with NAFTA ignores unpleasant economic forecasts and facts related to the proposed Korea Free Trade Agreement. Huge lobbying efforts by multi-national corporations and the Korean embassy notwithstanding, the Korea FTA would be a bad deal for Maine.

A 2007 report from the U.S. International Trade Commission predicted an increase in the overall U.S. trade deficit if the Korea FTA passes. Trade deficit increases for the U.S. mean lost jobs for American workers. This is a federal agency that has actually underestimated the costs of these potential trade deals in the past.

A more recent report from the Economic Policy Institute paints an extremely grim picture for U.S. jobs. EPI predicts that imports from South Korea would displace 888,000 American jobs within seven years if the Korea FTA passes, while the trade deal alone would be responsible for 159,000 lost jobs.

The proposed agreement would enable “Korean” products sold in the U.S. to be largely made in third-party countries. The rule of origin in the Korea FTA was negotiated at an unusually low 35 percent, meaning that 65 percent of a Korean product’s value could be in parts made in low-wage countries like China and Vietnam — further undercutting U.S. manufacturers and the American workers they hire.

The Korea FTA would also undermine our democracy by giving investors extraordinary new rights to challenge U.S. laws, regulations and court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent U.S. courts.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, Rep Chellie Pingree and Rep. Michael Michaud should be commended for taking a strong, principled stand for Maine workers and against the Korea FTA. It’s time for Sen. Susan Collins to join the rest of the Maine delegation and do the same.