Benefits and drawbacks of FTA
The April 24 editorial, ``Korea-China FTA," dealt with the most significant aspect that should be considered before the ratification of a free trade agreement.
I agreed with the writer's opinion that the deal should take steps to protect farmers, fishermen and small and medium-sized manufacturing companies beforehand.
It is true that the Korea-China FTA is expected to be a great opportunity for Korea. Some economic forecasts say that Korea's GDP could increase by 2.4 to 3.2 percent through such an FTA. So it seems inevitable to promote negotiations of the bilateral trade deal.
However, Korea should investigate the wide-ranging defects that could cause a collapse of domestic agriculture and put a damper on small manufacturing companies.
Farmers hold demonstrations against the FTA because they are sure that domestic farm produce is not cost competitive when compared to Chinese ones and this could ruin their lives.
Small firms are worried that the deal will have a great ripple effect not only on their products but also throughout the whole economy of Korea.
Even if the government decided that it is indispensible to conclude the agreement after long research about the benefits of this bilateral free trade, they must cope with possible drawbacks in the domestic agriculture and manufacturing sectors, and find some concrete and safe methods to compensate for those problems.
The government should create business-friendly conditions through reasonable regulations and support domestic small companies with financial aid, as well as suggest realistic alternatives to farmers who want to protect their crucial produce. Also, they have to admit that this issue should be dealt with by in-depth discussions considering all stances from a variety of groups.