The Seoul Times includes the following facts in their report on the current state of the South Korea Free Trade Agreement:
Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama in a letter released on Friday warned of a major fight over a free trade agreement with South Korea if President George W. Bush sends it to the U.S. Congress.
The U.S.-South Korea trade accord, the biggest for the U.S. since NAFTA in 1994, was signed last June. The U.S. International Trade Commission has estimated it would increase annual U.S. exports to South Korea by between $10 billion and $11 billion, and increase imports from the longtime Asian ally by between $6.4 billion and $6.9 billion.
Speculations as to why Senator Obama is opposing President George Bush’s and President Lee Myung-bak’s decision have been raised. During the race for the Democratic nomination, white working-class people kept Senator Obama at a respectful distance. Therefore, his disapproval of the Korea-U.S. FTA stems from a desire to draw the votes of this demographic whom are likely to lose jobs due to the agreement. Obama has pinpointed the clause on cars as unfair, because he is conscious of workers in the auto industry who are most likely to be hit by the FTA.
Will the U.S. also accept it if South Korea calls for renegotiations when those in the farm and livestock sectors protest? The hard won trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea may be in danger of disappearing if Senator Obama wins the presidential election in November.