Monday, April 02, 2007
Free Trade with South Korea!
South Korea and U.S. reach free trade agreement. Associated Press. April 1, 2007. Available online: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/04/02/asia/AS-FIN-SKorea-US-Free-Trade.php.
Despite intense skepticism, the United States and South Korea reached an agreement on a future free trade deal. If ratified by both countries, the deal will be the largest in Korean history and the larges for America since NAFTA. Besides the obvious economic gains, this deal has very good strategic implications, as well.
A South Korea - American free trade agreement would two pillars of the core, East Asia and North America, closer together. It will be the second major free trade agreement under the Bush Administration (the first being the Central American Free Trade Agreement). Further, South Korea is greatly admired in China for being an oriental state that modernized without losing its traditional, Asian characteristics. Further connecting South Korea to America demonstrates to potentially warry Chinese that ever-increasing globalization between a Western and Oriental country can allow both to get materially richer without getting culturally worse.
Of course, stumbling blocks can still be thrown up. While most South Koreans support increased openness, left-wing factions linked to North Korean racist-isolationism have already held violation demonstrations. And in our own country, Democratic hostility to orientals is as typical of the rear-end of that party as is Republican hostility to latinos.
Definite props to President Bush for pushing things this far. Let's hope that the Democratic Congress passes the South Korea Free Trade Agreement as quickly as possible.
Update: One Free Korea has more.
Update 2: Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog analyzes the deal in the context of ASEAN.
This agreement from Korea and US had been along time coming a lot. I think it is important to maintain business with Korea.
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