Join a Discussion on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 21, 2011
Live: Conversations With America: U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, Jose Fernandez, Assistant Secretary for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs, will hold a conversation with Jeffrey Schott, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, on the U.S. - Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS). The discussion will be moderated by Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, and streamed live on DipNote, the Department of State's official blog, at 10:30 a.m. (EDT). You are invited to participate by submitting questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. Submit your questions in the comments section below.

Through Conversations With America, leaders of national nongovernmental organizations have the opportunity to discuss foreign policy and global issues with senior State Department officials. These conversations aim to provide candid views of the ways in which leaders from the foreign affairs community are engaging the Department on pressing foreign policy issues. From Afghanistan to India, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and internet freedom to world water issues, the Conversations With America series showcases how both the U.S. government and civil society are working across the globe on issues that concern Americans most.

View other Conversations With America here and by accessing the Conversations With America video podcasts on iTunes.



Robert L.
California, USA
April 21, 2011

Robert L. in California writes:

I was Ch, Intel Br, MI Div, G2, Hq, 8th US Army between June1967-July1968. I participated in the initial response to the seizure of the USS PUEBLO. A week prior to that I was the intel analyst that wrote the memo warning of the BLUE HOUSE RAID North Korean assassination team positioned for entering the ROK 5 days prior to them infiltrating. The DPRK is a destablizine force in the region and economically far beyond all other countries in the region. I would hope that in the Free Trade Agreement discussion there would be discussion of how to bring improved relations the DPRK amd the USG and the ROK. I would think that a carrot of the improved relations might be partial inclusion in a trade agreement. I created and maintained the Indications of Hostilities file in my previous intel position. As a clear indicator of DPRK intent to improve relations with the USG the release of the USS PUEBLO would be of not cost to the DPRK and a simple act to show intent to improve relations. Building upon that first act of release of the USS PUEBLO the next step to particpating in a trade agreement could be control of the nuclear materials in the DPRK under control of IAEA inspectors. Then build upon the next step. It was my recommendation to negotiate to get the crew of the USS PUEBLO back in my 9 point memo in the response to the seizure of the USS PUEBLO. Smalls steps is the way to negotiate with the DPRK when KIM IL SUNG was in control and I assume the new regime in DPRK is very similar in negotiations. But the small steps create a momentum that must keep moving forward and not be a stopping point.

Ron F.
California, USA
April 22, 2011

Ron F. in California writes:

There are pending trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia: why not send all three to Congress for passage? Why are you delaying action on trade agreements with Panama and Colombia? When do you expect to present those trade agreements to Congress?

South Korea
April 22, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, tv appearances for the U.S. President ( Secretary of State ) and personally heard that frequent phone calls - many times before, in the United States in Korea or a national crisis, when businesses, has asked him for help. Incidentally, the U.S. actively help solve the problem amicably, and also the fact that many people of Korea are well aware of. - The problem happens when we're done, continue Bones An who is bothering me. I think the government are the ones. Or, MB or of the load ...

In this situation, it can not do anything. I'm just an ordinary person who is not above. I do not know why torment, but now there is no way back. Do not know who the enemy's identity, but ...

Miserable. Economically, physically and ...

Who can withstand the test correctly, Jesus Christ Super Star to think that.

Oliver P.
California, USA
April 26, 2011

Oliver K. in California writes:

Will American flags still be manufactured in Korea, post-Free Trade Agreement? Because I like my national symbols to be as cheap as possible. Thank you!

Tennessee, USA
April 26, 2011

Joe in Tennessee writes:

John 8:32...

New Mexico, USA
April 26, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Robert L. in Calif.,

Thanks for serving and it's nice to have someone with your experience on board Dipnote contributing to the mix of commentary.

While returning the USS Pueblo would I think be one of those "confidence building " measures officials speak of and in theory might be persued in that light, if the DPRK had any intent to foster better relations.

Howevever, I think it is probable that the DPRK would not want to return their "tin-can" trophy of imperialistic resistance, and even if they were so inclined they'd insist on having the US gov. buy it back (being as broke as the DPRK is)...and it's so obsolete that we'd only scrap it or put it on display for tourists in a port somewhere even if we did.

Given the fact that 'lil Kim-so-ill likes to negotiate by threatening nuclear war at every possible opportunity, I don't believe taking baby steps of negotiational intent will change that methodology much, if at all.

One thing's for sure...if China's dog ever gets of its leash and bites the kids in the neighborhood we will put it down, hard and permanently. And that won't be by "conventional means".

Better that the Chinese realize they should put the regime permanently on ice before hand, for their own national security and economic interests.

Because I would think their economic relations with the US and nations in the region would be irreparably harmed if they don't and 'lil Kim makes good on his threats.

Whether that armed response would engulf the entire region would be then a matter of cooler heads prevailing during and after the DPRK was eliminated as a military threat.

How long do you estimate the DPRK would sustain its existance were China to cut off all economic and military support to them tommorrow?

And what could the US do to leverage such a change in China's policy to do so?

I suppose we could get real hard-core about this and threaten to cut off all imports and trade relations with China, as well as using our debt to China as a means of influence by telling them we don't owe them squat if they continue to persue policies that cost the US billions in maintaining an elevated security posture in the region because of 'lil Kim's ill intent toward other nations.

That might just produce movement towards a solution, but I'm not entirely sure China would appreciate the pressure put upon them very much.

Unless the State Dept. were to lay out the choices they face convincingly enough.

And that will only happen if China can be convinced their support for the DPRK represents a dire liability to our bilateral relations as well with the other nations in the region that do buisiness with us.

All this would be a direct follow-on from a determination made by the USG and the international community concerned that China's support for the DPRK represents material support for a regime that in fact is being lead by a nuclear terrorist at this point in time.

I believe that the threats issued by the DPRK to wage nuclear war defines the term used as legitimate, regardless if it has been manifest or not by a nuclear attack.

I don't think we need to wait for that to become manifest to define the intent of one making such threats as such.

Words must mean something.



Maryland, USA
April 26, 2011

Melissa in Maryland writes:

What provisions for workers have been included in the trade agreement?

kyle d.
California, USA
April 26, 2011

Kyle D. in California writes:

I think it is important for the US to maintain and create free trade agreements with countries in othr regions especially in the east Asian region since there is strong regionalism such as ASEAN that the US is not apart of. Do you believe US FTAs in the region are necessary to keep China from obtaining regional hegemony?

Susan C.
Florida, USA
April 26, 2011

Susan C. in Florida writes:

Is it true that South Korea has delayed ratification of the Trade Agreement due to translation errors? What does this mean in terms of the agreement and will they eventually ratify it? Has it been delayed before? For how long and why? Thank you for taking our questions.

District Of Columbia, USA
April 26, 2011

Sarah in Washington, DC writes:

How will this agreement create more jobs and boost economic growth? If this agreement is so wonderful, why is Congress reluctant to ratify it?

stock t.
July 1, 2011

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October 23, 2011

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