An FTA Pre-Post Mortem

At this hour, it looks like free trade talks with South Korea are about to fail, despite their extension for another 48 hours.   It may be  a bit  early for  the Chosun Ilbo  to have  published this post-mortem, but any free-trade agreement we reach now will be unworthy of the name and hardly worth doing from an American perspective.  Yes, I still  believe an US-Korean FTA is a good idea, but it’s pretty hard to  write a good one when the only Korean politicians  who are talking about it,  such as  the gutter Ameriphobe Kim Geun-Tae,  are holding their breath until their faces turn blue.   After Roh Moo Hyun  failed to  sell the FTA for a year, it’s time for America to show its own ambivalence.  In a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative,  Nancy Pelosi called Korea’s trade policies an “iron curtain.”   Safe to say, without fast-track authority, this thing will not fly. 

Perhaps after the FTA fails, Korean politicians who haven’t  spoken a supportive word on its  behalf  will use it as a club to hit Roh with  and blame him for trashing US-Korea relations.  Fair enough, at least substantively.  At this  point,  the best we can expect is that this starts a debate on how South Korea shot itself in the foot, again.