Wendy Cutler for President

At this point, I oppose the FTA  because Korea does not seem to be serious about opening its markets fundamentally.  Nor do  I  believe that  Korea should be rewarded for  doing so much to demagogue anti-Americanism, or to  undermine U.S. national security interests or  the humanitarian imperatives of the North Korean people.  Those are the reasons I don’t buy things made in Korea these days, and I know that the FTA would  instead reward Korea’s worst politicians and labor unions  by flooding our markets with their products.  I do think that in the longer term, the FTA is good for both countries, and that we should revisit the topic in a few years if and when Korea returns to its senses.  For now, I’ll probably get my wish.  The whole thing seems exceedingly unlikely in an election year in both countries, with the Democrats controlling Congress.

Lay that aside, however, and just study the tone of Ms. Cutler’s reponses.  Ms. Cutler is  the chief U.S. negotiator, and is with the  Office of the U.S. Trade  Representative.  Ms. Cutler is tough, blunt, and direct, yet diplomatic.  Put that into the context of her  boss’s previous  comments on Kaesong (a dead issue if there ever was one, although many South Korean politicians  still won’t dismount the heap of bleached bones).  The OUSTR  captures exactly the kind of  businesslike tone I’ve suggested adopting on  security, diplomatic, and human rights  issues,  without the  saccharine about a “strong,” “enduring” alliance that obviously is not.  Assertions that  diminish our credibility and the gravity of the interests that South Korea is flouting do not strengthen the alliance; they weaken it. 

5 Comments

  1. Only problem is, no FTA only rewards the South Korean communists and punishes South Korean friends of America.

    Notice who is opposed to FTA?
    -communist labor unions
    -communist farmers unions
    -communist student activists
    -communists in general

    Notice who is pro FTA?
    -everyone else who has big enough clump of neurons to qualify as having brains.

    I think it’s generally a good idea to be aggressive in forcing South Korean markets to open up. But if we are trying to use FTA as a punitive measure concerning North Korean diplomacy, I think that’s just not gonna work. It might make you feel better though.

    If we were smart, we would deny Roh FTA aggreement and give it to a Hannara administration. That’s probably what will happen anyway.




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  2. If we were smart, we would deny Roh FTA aggreement and give it to a Hannara administration. That’s probably what will happen anyway.

    Well, obviously, you and I are both very smart, because that’s what I was trying to suggest.




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  3. I just returned from a six-eek stay in Korea in the province of Chung Chong Puk Do. The opponents of FTA are definitely anti-American. They oppose anything American. Realistically beef in korea is expensive , gamy and smelly. the people are being swayed by the opposition’s claims that their standard of living will be jeopardized by the FTA agreemen.




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