Although there’s a lot of happy-talk from Obama officials about how great the Korea FTA is, it isn’t hard to find that the picture is not so rosy – both here and in Korea.
In a recent visit to Seattle, Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo admitted to big concerns in Korea about the Korea FTA. The Ambassador was speaking at an Aug 31st event hosted by the Trade Development Alliance and Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
At the briefing, Kristen Beifus, our WFTC Director, asked the Ambassador about the “investor rights” rules that have been inserted into the proposed US-Korea FTA. (These are the NAFTA-based rules that give foreign corporations radical new rights to sue governments whenever public interest laws reduce their profits. )
The ambassador admitted that the “investor rights” rules are a concern and there is a big issue regarding these rules (and the deal in general) in Korea. He went on to claim, though, that there really should be no worries, since US corporations “will not do to Korea what they have done in Mexico [under NAFTA] in challenging domestic laws.”
Fat chance the Korean people will fall for that! (And we won’t either!)