• Cloakroom Confidential: South Korea Should Not Receive Preferential Trade Status

    For those who are skeptical of trade agreements, one need to look no further than South Korea for an example of a country that has not earned a special status for a trade agreement.

    According to Townhall.com the nation has not earned the right to joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP):

    South Korea is a very important strategic ally and long time friend of the United States. South Korea is a nation that has emerged from dictatorship and evolved into a vibrant democracy. Yet, in the last few months, South Korean President Park Guen-hye has walked back some democratic freedoms and aggressively cracked down on the right to free speech.
    The AP reported on November 14, 2015, “police fired tear gas and water cannons Saturday as they clashed with anti-government demonstrators who marched through Seoul in the largest protest in South Korea’s capital in more than seven years, leaving a protester critically injured.
    About 70,000 people marched from various locations in Seoul to an area near City Hall, according to police.” One of the grievances is that the government is going to issue mandatory history books for schools that is expected to “whitewash the brutal dictatorships that preceded Sough Koreas’ bloody transition toward democracy” in the 80s.
    One reason might be that the President, Park Guen-hye, is the daughter of Gen. Park Chung-hee, South Korea’s military dictator from 1961 to 1979. During the dictatorship, civil liberties and political freedoms were severely restricted. The nation is sliding toward the government versus the people mentality that rocked the nation during the years of military dictatorship.

    If one of our goals with trade agreements is to reward friends, then why would we reward lawlessness and a nation that is increasingly allying itself with traditional foes of the Untied States? Not smart.

    Cloakroom Confidential

    Cloakroom Confidential was a longtime Capitol Hill staffer and insider who has contacts in the House and Senate at the highest levels.

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