United States – Korea Free Trade Agreement: Is it working for Americans or does it need revision?

Georgetown on the hill speakers sitting at a table

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Date: Friday, October 6, 2017 – 12:00pm

Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2044, 45 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20515

South Korea — the world’s 12th largest economy — is an economic powerhouse 20 percent the size of California. Its economy ranks just below that of Russia, but it is smaller in size than Japan. Revitalized after the war, South Korea has become increasingly democratic and is a major pillar of U.S. defense strategy in the far east.

The United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) secured the framework of U.S.-Korea trade and investment. For the U.S. services sector, KORUS is the “gold standard” among U.S. trade agreements, and as such it may serve as the basis for future agreements. Nonetheless, there are others who hold that KORUS disadvantages the United States and who do not support it.

This policy forum, organized by J. Robert Vastine (remarks begin at 0.19 (new window)), Senior Industry Fellow, Center for Business and Public Policy, explored the pros and cons of KORUS. Wendy Cutler, Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Society Policy Institute offered introductory framing remarks, followed by a panel discussion moderated by J. Bradford Jensen (remarks begin at 1.54 (new window)), Senior Policy Scholar, Center for Business and Public Policy, and McCrane/Shaker Chair in International Business, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. Panelists included:

  • Wendy Cutler, Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Society Policy Institute (remarks begin at 3.05 (new window))
  • Michael Green, Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Foreign Service, Georgetown University (remarks begin at 17.50 (new window))
  • David J. Salmonsen, Senior Director of Congressional Relations, American Farm Bureau Federation (remarks begin at 31.27 (new window))
  • Brad Smith, Chief International Officer, American Council of Life Insurers (remarks begin at 41.04 (new window))

This policy forum is part of the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy’s Georgetown on the Hill (new window) series at which we convene policymakers, academics, and industry experts to discuss important economic policy issues of the day.