Go to contents

[Editorial] The Korea-U.S. FTA and Wishing for Cooperation Between Major Political Parties and President Roh

[Editorial] The Korea-U.S. FTA and Wishing for Cooperation Between Major Political Parties and President Roh

Posted April. 17, 2007 08:05,   


It was revealed recently that 55 percent of U.S. buyers who used to import textiles from China and Vietnam intend to import Korean textiles once the Korea-U.S. FTA comes into effect. This is thanks to Korean textiles’ higher quality and customer service along with the possible higher price competitiveness due to the FTA.

Two of the top 100 global pharmaceutical companies plan to build their R&D centers in Korea while farming machine maker John Deere and heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar have already proceeded to expand their purchase of Korean components.

According to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency or KOTRA, there were clear welcoming signs for Korean companies to export to the U.S. and attract foreign investment even within a fortnight of the settlement of the Korea-U.S. FTA negotiations.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) surpassed 1,500 points on April 9, breaking its own record again yesterday. Moody’s, the prestigious credit rating agency, is expected to revise Korea’s credit rating upward.

President Roh Moo-hyun and the political circle must not lose the opportunity to maximize “the positive effects of the FTA.” It is time for President Roh to put in a serious effort to pass a ratified agreement on the Korea-U.S. FTA from the major political parties after he recently accepted the six political parties’ request to withdraw his constitutional amendment. Lawmaker Chun Jung-bae, while serving as a cabinet member, signed a government statement to “gather forces for the Korea-U.S. FTA.” But now he is fasting to oppose “negotiations to pay tribute,” which is hard to sympathize with. However, hopefully, President Roh can persuade even Mr. Chun.

Last week, the government declared that it would strive to implement a corporate transparency scheme established in preparation for fiercer global competition. Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said that regulations would be imposed which are commensurate with the new FTA environment. President Roh should prevent a governmental ambiguous attitude by clearly revealing that regulations on companies that are eased according to global standards will boost competitiveness. In order for the Korea-U.S. FTA to be beneficial to the Korean economy instead of being poisonous, having systems that meet the standards of advanced countries are a must.

Meanwhile, political parties that support free democracy and the open market economy will have to cooperate with President Roh in order to maximize the synergy effects of the Korea-U.S. FTA. Otherwise, the Korean people will lose the opportunity to turn the country around for the better.