The problem may be that the arguments against the ISD clause within the KORUS FTA are ones that even ten-year-olds can understand (see second article, below). However, it does take at least a high school education to understand why the ISD clause is better than harmless — and actually is something that will also protect Korean interests without harming Korea’s smaller economic players (see first article, below).
But as I have been attempting to explain in this and past week’s columns in the Korea JoongAng Daily, the causes to the ISD clause opposition are based on unrelated economic and political conditions. Consequently, to logically argue with the KORUS FTA opponents is pretty similar to an atheist debating a Born Again Christian. At least one side is going to refuse to listen, since there is a broader, fundamental agenda that prevents acknowledgement of the other person’s position.
As such, as western observers, it is pretty futile to become frustrated by the apparent idiocy of the debate. It is much better to sit back and try to take it all in from a greater contextual perspective.
If there is any good news, it is starting to look like the conservative majority, after making extraordinary gestures to listen and to debate, will muscle its way in getting the FTA ratified in December. All of which should be good fun for those of us who enjoy legislative rugby, complete with dramatic podium scrum action.
ISD clause: Setting the record straight
It would be a travesty for the Korus FTA to be rejected based on an erroneous understanding of the facts and law.
By Sukhan Kim
Korea JoongAng Daily
Using kids to sow fears about U.S. trade pact
초등생이 반FTA 집회서 “리명박, 천벌 받아라” 외쳐
By Lee Ji-sang
Korea JoongAnng Daily