FTAs have become a hot issue. An FTA means a Free Trade Agreement. The purpose of an FTA includes not only economic partnership but also political cooperation through liberalization of trade. This is similar to a marriage of convenience, in terms of international trade. Many Koreans may have already recognized the necessity of negotiating with other countries, and especially the U.S.A, which is one of the best partners in trade with the Republic of Korea.
Currently our government is promoting an FTA with the U.S.A, but there are some people who support an anti-FTA position, in opposition to the government, including mainly farmers, some labor organizations, and some NGOs. They say an FTA is an act of terrorism against farmers, and so an FTA stands for Farmer Terrorism Act.
When I finished reading the cover story of a previous issue of The Yeungnam Observer (YNO), it helped me to understand some of the complexities of the FTA challenge. Based on the information within that issue's cover story, I believe that we can get benefits from an FTA with the U.S.A. because it makes trade faster and easier by eliminating many barriers - such as tariff and competition which are growing constantly - from trade. An easier access to such a huge market could help Korea to produce more competitive products with lower prices. I also expect that I will be able to find better quality goods under an FTA with the U.S.A. as an individual consumer. Whatever the outcome will be, the negotiations have started. The challenge at this point appears to gain better conditions within the agreement than what the negotiators from the USA are currently offering.
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