* Text, thanks to Steve Zelter on Dec. 31, 2010
Opposition calls for nullifying KORUS FTA
By Lee Tae-hoon
A group comprising of 43 opposition lawmakers Tuesday called on the government to nullify the free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the United States.
The legislators from the main opposition Democratic Party and such minor opposition as Liberty Forward and Democratic Labor parties said that the renegotiated free trade pact between the two countries was an “unequal, behind-closed doors” negotiation.
“It’s a pact that can inadvertently make a majority of the citizens of Korea and the United States a victim,” they said. The legislators jointly held a meeting with the “pan-national campaign headquarters to oppose KORUS FTA” at the National Assembly.
Rep. Sohn Hak-kyu, chairman of the DP, also opposed the KORUS FTA, during his speech on KBS radio.
The KORUS FTA was signed in 2007 under the Bush administration, but the bilateral pact remained in a deadlock over U.S. demands for wider access to the Korean auto and beef markets.
The new FTA supplemental agreement gives U.S. automakers more access to Korea. In return, Korea, which has refused to discuss the issue of beef, has received some concessions such as a two-year delay in tariff reductions on American pork.