ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on October 19th, 2011 at 10:37 am

Korean Left Wing Politicians Organize To Fight FTA Ratification

These actions taken by the Korean left is not surprising:

All hopes for a smooth ratification of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement were abandoned yesterday when its opponents occupied a committee room at the National Assembly to prevent deliberations on the bill and a vote.

The ruling Grand National Party planned to open deliberations on the free trade agreement bill in the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee in the afternoon. GNP Representative Yoo Ki-june told Yonhap News Agency that the ruling party would attempt to approve it in committee yesterday.

As word spread about the plan, lawmakers from the Democratic and Democratic Labor parties stormed the committee’s conference room and occupied the seat for the committee chairman, Representative Nam Kyung-pil.

Representative Kim Jin-pyo, floor leader of the Democratic Party, said the DP would refuse to cooperate with the bill’s passage unless the government removes “harmful clauses” in the FTA and comes up with thorough compensation measures for farmers, fishermen and small-company workers who will be affected by increased imports from the United States.

As the confrontation peaked, Nam agreed to debates to discuss the FTA for tomorrow and Friday.

Nam also scolded the opposition lawmakers for occupying his seat.

“I feel ashamed before the people, and I cannot accept this situation,” he said. “Today will be the last time for me to endure the minority’s use of physical force. From now on, I won’t allow this anymore.”

Could you imagine Nancy Pelosi sitting in John Boehner’s chair like a spoiled brat refusing to move because that is how this situation appears.  At least the Korean left hasn’t resorted to violence yet like they have in the past but give it time because the presidential season is just getting warmed up.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

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  • Teadrinker
    3:53 pm on October 19th, 2011 1

    One huge problem with their argument: South Korea does not produce enough food to meet its demands and has consequently relied on imports for years.

    Yesterdays, for example, I had toast for breakfast made with American wheat and the pork in the kamjattang for lunch was Canadian.

    This won’t change. A huge segment of the farmers are in their 60′s and 70′s, and most of them grow rice thanks to government subsidies. Few young people are interested in becoming farmers, so the local food output is going to suffer in the coming years as aging farmers cease to plow their fields.

    No, they are grandstanding ahead of the elections. Notice how they don’t seem to clarify which are the “harmful clauses”.

  • Chris In Dallas
    5:39 pm on October 19th, 2011 2


    *What would Park Chung Hee do?

  • kangaji
    6:31 pm on October 19th, 2011 3

    Tear gas and beatings. Followed by getting shot by his own kcia chief for sits messing with civil liberties

  • ChickenHead
    7:17 pm on October 19th, 2011 4

    Claw at his coffin lid?

  • someotherguy
    6:18 pm on October 23rd, 2011 5

    You’d think SK would be a prime source of customers for the freelance assassin’s out there.

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:02 pm on October 23rd, 2011 6

    2 :)

    4. I’m guessing continue to rot and turn to dust.

    Hmmm, let’s see:

    The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the reduction of Korean tariffs and tariff-rate quotas on goods alone would add $10 billion to $12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product and around $10 billion to annual merchandise exports to Korea.

    Seems pretty equitable.

    Upon ratification by each nation’s legislatures, the treaty will eliminate 95% of each nation’s tariffs on goods within five years, and also create new protections for multinational financial services and other firms.

    Much attention has been focused on automobiles, hitherto a major US grievance and a large component of the bilateral trade deficit: during 2006, only about 4,000 US-manufactured cars (excluding GM’s Daewoo subsidiary) were sold in South Korea while sales of cars manufactured by South Korean companies (including cars manufactured in Korean-owned US plants) in the United States exceeded 800,000[6]. South Korean automakers sold 730,863 vehicles in the United States in 2005, while American auto companies sold only 5,795 in South Korea, according to Commerce Department figures[30].
    The FTA will abolish taxes in South Korea “on large cars produced in the United States, which US auto makers have long called an impediment to market access in Korea”[29].
    The agreement requires Korea to reduce “car taxes that are based on engine displacement that allegedly disadvantage U.S.-made cars, which tend to be larger than domestically-produced Korean cars”[38].
    The Obama administration has opposed these engine displacement taxes even while vowing to support domestic limits on greenhouse gas emissions[39].
    The 775,000 vehicles Korea sold in the U.S. in 2007 include 250,000 that were made at the Hyundai plant in Alabama. When Hyundai brings its Kia factory in Georgia on line, it will increase Korea’s total production capacity in the U.S. to 600,000 units per year. If GM Daewoo vehicles are included in US companies’ sales in Korea, their market share there rises to 12.8%, versus a US market share of 5% for Korean manufacturers[40].
    Rice is excluded, at Seoul’s insistence. In return, South Korea will reduce its 40% tariff on US beef over 15 years.[6]
    Market opening already underway in law and accounting will widen, but major service sectors such as education and healthcare were excluded. Labour productivity in the South Korean service sector is just 56% of that in manufacturing, far below OECD’s average of 93%.[6]
    Seoul wanted products made by South Korean companies in the Kaesong Industrial Region in North Korea included in the deal; Washington did not. The disagreement is unresolved but was not allowed to scupper the deal, which allows for further talks on the subject.[6]
    Agriculture in South Korea is expected to be adversely affected, and $119 billion in aid to South Korean farmers has been announced over the next ten years to offset the effects of the finalized agreement[41].
    The free trade agreement is expected to increase the growth rate of the South Korean GDP by 0.6% per year for the next 10 years. The South Korean government also cite increased foreign direct investment in Korea and heightened competition.
    More than $1 billion worth of US farm exports to South Korea will become duty-free immediately. Most remaining tariffs and quotas will be phased out over the first 10 years the agreement is in force. KORUS FTA would remove tariffs on 95% of consumer and industrial products between the countries within three years. South Korean industrial tariffs average 6.5% – and many are 8% – making market access a very important issue for US industries[29].
    The trade accord, if ratified, will knock down tariff and non-tariff barriers between the world’s largest and 11th-largest economies, which did US$74 billion in two-way trade in 2006[16].
    The agreement does require both countries to enforce their own labor and environmental laws, and ensures access to legal mechanisms to ensure enforcement[29].


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