In an interview with Financial Times, South Korea’s trade minister, Kim Jong-hoon, said that he does not yet know the nature of the U.S.’s complaint about the FTA. In other words, the U.S. hasn’t made its “ask” of South Korea – the exact “fixes” the U.S. wants to make with the deal.
Since the G-20 is only 3 weeks away, it looks like USTR is going to miss the deadline Obama set for resolving the outstanding issues. Does this mean they’ve realized that things other than market access for “cars and cows” will have to be fixed in order to make the FTA politically viable in the U.S.? We hope so…because that’s the truth.
Mr. Kim went on to say, "As we say in Korean, if you tie up a rope, you are the one who will have to untie it." Well, Bush tied this rope – and it’s a political noose. So, the Obama administration had better be careful not to hang itself with it.