On Wednesday, the House passed new free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia (H.R. 3078), Panama (H.R. 3079), and Korea (H.R. 3080). These FTAs, which were modeled on the controversial North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), all passed by wide margins in the House. "I voted against these new free trade agreements because they will hurt American workers and cause more job losses," said Serrano. "In addition, these agreements do not support foreign workers' rights. I did not support NAFTA and other free trade agreements, and I believe that the job benefits...that supporters promised never appeared. Instead, we've seen more and more jobs flow overseas and fewer and fewer good jobs created here in the USA. I cannot support agreements that disadvantage our workers, most especially in a weak economy. The Colombia agreement is particularly troubling, because of the widespread labor and human rights abuses in the country."
In addition to voting against the three trade agreements, Serrano voted in favor of H.R. 2832 to extend the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which will lessen the negative effects of FTAs by offering assistance to communities, farmers, and firms, while also providing employment training and relocation allowances for workers.
The agreements have already passed the Senate and are expected to be signed by President Obama shortly.