South Korean Government Decides to Avoid Defensive Policies on Trades

Sep 14, 2017

Department Head Kim Hyun-jong of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s (MOTIE) Trade Negotiation Headquarters announced that he is going to avoid defensive policies on trades and combine policies on industries, energy, and trade investments in order to increase national wealth. His plan is to look at variety of ways that South Korean Government can take towards renegotiation of FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between South Korea and the U.S. and Chinese Government’s retaliation on South Korean Government for THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense).
“After coming back to become the department head of Trade Negotiation Headquarters again since 10 years ago, policies on trades have used FTA negotiations over and over again.” said Department Head Kim after being appointed as the department head at Sejong Complex on the 13th. “Our policies on trades need to change in order to develop projects that can increase national wealth by combining back-end industries, trades, and policies on investments with a huge spiral setting such as Northeast Asia.
This kind of change in policies on trades indicates that international environments on trades have changed a lot recently.
“As China and Japan signed off on TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), they have gained a lot of experiences and knowhow in negotiations.” said Department Head Kim. “We cannot go through heavy seas anymore with just defensive plans.”
His position is that he is going to think carefully about suing Chinese Government about its retaliation on THAAD to WTO (World Trade Organization).
“A card is not a card anymore when it is used. Although we have an option to either sue or not to sue Chinese Government, we have to examine carefully about which is more effective.” said Department Head Kim. “When there is a plan A, there have to be plan B and C as well. We need to analyze after thinking what comes after winning a case.”

Department Head Kim Hyun-jong of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Trade Negotiation Headquarters <Department Head Kim Hyun-jong of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Trade Negotiation Headquarters>

“FTA is not a cure-all.” said Department Head Kim regarding a comment about FTA between South Korea and China not having any effects on controlling Chinese Government’s retaliation on THAAD. “We need to build strength that can change this crisis into an opportunity.” He also presented a city to city FTA that has free trade areas such as South Korea’s Incheon and China’s Shanghai as an economic partnership with China.
“We are waiting answers from the U.S. Government regarding our request for analysis of an outcome of FTA between South Korea and the U.S.” said Department Head Kim regarding a request from the U.S. Government regarding revision of FTA. “However we are continuing to make appropriate preparations since negotiations require preparations from all angles.”
South Korean Government suggested the U.S. Government about doing research and analysis together regarding economic effects of FTA when the U.S. Government requested South Korean Government to find and resolve U.S. trade deficit at a joint South Korea-U.S. FTA commission special session that was held in Seoul on the 22nd of August. However it has yet to receive an answer from the U.S. Government.
Regarding a question on when South Korean Government is going to start negotiating with the U.S. Government regarding revision of FTA and how it is going to decide advantages and disadvantages of a negotiation, Department Head Kim avoided giving a direct answer by saying that South Korean Government needs to follow the fate of the country.
Department Head Kim also shared his thoughts about coming back to MOTIE from Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Employees from MOTIE are different from employees from Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I feel comfortable about coming back to MOTIE as they are reliable and pure employees.”
“Regardless of which international organization it is, it is very important to expand towards other countries.” said Department Head Kim regarding a question about having a South Korean replacing his position as the member of WTO’s appellate body that he gave up.
Staff Reporter Yang, Jongseok | jsyang@etnews.com

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