Monday, October 17, 2011

Ask a Korean! News: Presidential Speech on KORUS FTA

As you might have heard, Korea and United States entered into a free trade agreement on October 12, 2011. This is the largest free trade agreement for the United States since the North American Free Trade Agreement came into force in 1994.

The Korean is mostly left-leaning in his politics, which means he is not a fan of Korea's current president Lee Myung-Bak. However, the Korean is not so small to acknowledge that President Lee gave a great speech before the U.S. Congress -- which was received by 45 instances of applause. Please do read the entire speech, which essentially captures how the Korean feels about his two homes, United States and Korea. The two countries are friends, and they both need each other.

But then again, everyone is a critic. The Korean also liked Professor Robert Kelly's essay on what President Lee should have said before the Congress. Please also take a look at that post as well.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at


  1. Thank you for the compliment on my post - rek

  2. That's nice you mentioned the ROK-US FTA. It's a pity you apparently forgot about the ROK-EU one, as there are some interesting facts to say about it.
    First, it has been already provisionally applied since July 1 (the ROK-US one has been not).
    Secondly, the EU FTA is larger than the ROK-USA FTA.
    Thirdly, the ROK-EU FTA will create one of the world's largest free trade areas, second only to NAFTA.
    Fourthly, the ROK-EU FTA is also the most comprehensive FTA ever negotiated by the EU.
    Fifthly, the ROK-EU FTA evoked much less controversy than the ROK-US one. By the way, this is just another proof that the EU is less apprehensive about free trade-related competition and manages it protectionist lobbies more effectively than the US does.
    Last but not least, the EU is the world's biggest trading bloc. It's also very active in East Asia being the biggest trading partner of China. One can thus venture to say that the ROK-US FTA might have a bigger long-term impact on the ROK economy than the ROK-US one.

    Maybe some day MR. Park will write something more about this this interesting free trade deal (and about other ROK-Europe related problems). I will read it with a great interest.

  3. Forgot to mention that the EU is already the second destination of the Korean exports (China is the first one and the US is the third one).


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