Posts tagged ‘free trade agreement’
November 14, 2011
President Lee Myung-Bak’s visit to Hawaii for the APEC Leaders’ Summit 2011 will involve some awkward moments. However, these moments may also reflect a sign that South Korea is about to lose the momentum it has gained in trade liberalisation.
September 13, 2011
United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk has stated he remains hopeful that the Korea-United States (KORUS) Free Trade Agreements (FTA) will be passed in time for an announcement at the November 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit in Hawaii. Read more
February 14, 2011
At a press conference on 13 February 2011, Democratic Party chairman, Sohn Hak-Kyu, stated that the Democratic Party (DP) would return to the National Assembly.
The decision ends the DP’s two-month boycott of the National Assembly, which commenced 8 December 2010, after the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) forced through its 2011 budget bill. One of the key upcoming agenda items will be legislation to implement the Korea-United States (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement (FTA), after both sides signed the supplementary agreement on 10 February 2011.
Both the DP and Democratic Labor Party (DLP) oppose ratification, claiming the original FTA has been altered by the supplementary agreements, making it necessary to undertake a complete review of the FTA. However, the DP will find it difficult to rally wider public support in opposition to the KORUS FTA.
Throughout 2010-11, the DP has maintained a policy focus on social issues, including universal welfare services; such as school lunches, healthcare, and childcare; and the financial, taxation and regulatory reform required to support these policies. It will prove difficult for the DP to present opposition to the KORUS FTA in the same frame. In addition, anti-Americanism is currently at a low-level as a result of proactive USFK and US State Department measures, as well as increased public concern regarding North Korea. Wider public support for opposition to the KORUS FTA is unlikely to materialize.
January 21, 2011
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with Australia are now in their final stages. Both sides would like to announce the completion of negotiations during 2011, which marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
A tentative visit by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Seoul planned for March 2011 presents an ideal opportunity for an agreement to be announced. Both sides are aware that a final deal depends to a degree on the progress of the Korea – United States (KORUS) FTA through the National Assembly and the United States Congress.
The KORUS FTA was an important driver in both sides willingness to negotiate and may prove to be equally important in the final stages.
However, the KORUS FTA may ultimately prove to be detrimental to the Korea-Australia FTA. An important aspect of any FTA is the ‘head-turning’ effect, which is thought to contribute to the expansion of trade as the increased degree of media attention exposes new and existing opportunities. The timing of the Korea-Australia FTA may mean that any head-turning effect will be quickly eclipsed by the more newsworthy KORUS FTA.
December 26, 2010
The Finance Ministry has announced that South Korea will seek further Free Trade Agreements (FTA) in 2011, particularly with trading partners in the Africa and Latin America regions.
South Korea currently has FTAs with 16 states and is in negotiation with 12 further states. However, current negotiations underway are experiencing varying degrees of success. Three factors are driving the expansion of South Korea’s FTA load.
Firstly, the continuing lack of consensus towards multilateral trade liberalization leaves bilateral and plurilateral trade liberalization as acceptable second-best options. South Korea currently has no viable plurilateral options.
Secondly, South Korea’s increasingly alarming trade reliance on China has set in motion concern regarding China’s politico-strategic influence over Korea. This was clearly demonstrated in the recent quiet capitulation of South Korea in the collision of a Chinese fishing vessel and South Korean Coast Guard vessel.
Finally, and most importantly, South Korea now views FTAs as viable vehicles to improve medium-term energy, raw-material and food security. The continued expansion of South Korea’s FTA will inevitably place a burden on MOFAT resources but will ultimately improve South Korea’s economic security.