Different reactions were elicited by the US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement from different groups of people. Some people considered the free trade agreement to be heading for stormy waters. Despite of the best intentions that President Roh and his advisers have in mind, the country would still be facing threats and challenges (Global Research, 2007). An intensified opposition to the foreign trade agreement was formed by anti-American forces and traditional trade liberalization opponents such as farmers and trade unions (Congressional Research Service, 2007).
Opposition groups argue that the trade agreement with the United States would only be beneficial to Korean conglomerates. This would further widen economic disparities within South Korea (Congressional Research Service, 2007). Companies depending on export for growth would be given countless of opportunities due to greater and freer access to the US market. However, roadblocks would be faced by other sectors of country (Global Research, 2007).
In the long run, the service and financial sectors of the country would be more efficient in giving their clients high quality of products due to a greater participation of American companies (Global Research, 2007). For now, there would be a painful adjustment, retrenchment and reorganization in Korean service, banking and financial industries. Some companies would experience bankruptcy that would result to an increase in unemployment rates. Foreigners would take over many Korean firms. In order to lessen the predicted increase in unemployment rates, the Korean government would have to set up policies to protect some of them (Stokes, 2007).
The agricultural market, meanwhile, is considered as a more daunting challenge to South Korea. It would become improbable for the country to sustain the agricultural population in the environment of open-market competition due to the geographic, demographic and cultural realities (Global Research, 2007). Moreover, some claimed that calling the agreement between South Korea and the United States as inaccurate. According to them, the pact actually entails an increase in protectionist restrictions in the form of copyright rules and patents.
Intellectual property rules are made tighter as a response to demands from U. S software, entertainment and pharmaceutical companies. With these rules, they are hoping to charge more in South Korea; hence they would increase their profits (Baker, 2006). Some opposition also cited the importance of realizing that the United States is serious about these rules. They also claim that the United States uses a standard pattern in negotiating for a trade agreement. It would push towards the intellectual property rules.
When the agreement takes effect, US would immediately lobby on the strongest possible interpretation of each inclusion the free trade agreement which could mean higher prices for their counterparts (Baker, 2006). When stringent intellectual property rules are imposed in South Korea, a transfer from firms in South Korea to US owned corporations will occur since these companies hold patents and copyrights. As a consequence, South Korean people would pay more than what they would under Korean firms (Baker, 2006). This would substantially lower their quality of life (Stokes, 2007).