April 9, 2007

Korean Trade Deal would be a plus for California

That’s what the San Francisco Chronicle thinks:

For California, this deal is close to a no-brainer. Rice growers won’t be happy with Korean price protections, but Hollywood studios, orange growers and plasma-TV shoppers will be pleased with lower trade barriers.

There are other reasons to support the pact. It strengthens relations between Washington and Seoul, which have frayed. It puts pressure on next-door Japan, the toughest holdout on free trade, to relent. Also, the deal links the United States more closely with Asia’s roaring economic engine and checks China’s rising role.

The politics remain tricky. President Bush wants an economic win to blunt criticism over rising trade deficits. Democrats, badly divided on the issue, want free trade, but with terms guaranteeing environmental and labor standards. The pressure is on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to unite her tribe, which won its majority partly on free-trade fears.

Worldwide, the same tensions have stalled multination trade pacts. That’s why it makes sense to focus on the advantages of this deal with Korea, a familiar trading partner. It’s a free trade deal too good to pass up.

Filed under South Korea, U.S. Government by

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