Disclaimer: KOR-US FTA ratification in Korea National Assembly is ahead and heated discussions on 12 archetypal installations toxic to Korean judicial system, economy, and social network in general in KOR-US FTA are going on in mainly internet such as Twitter-verse. However, due to the legal nature of KORE-US FTA, terms are quite evolved and efforts to make those items more comprehensible by ordinary people have perked up as well. This post is about one of the efforts that tried to make meanings of those toxic installations easy to understand by using analogies to rules of soccer games. Although the descriptions in this post may not be totally exact, it anyway reflects people’s concerns about the uncertainties of KOR-US FTA due to still undisclosed details of it and efforts to understand KOR-US FTA more, which Korean government didn’t do much about. Presently, I will not designate any rights of this post to any one since, frankly, it is really hard to trace the author of original analogy (in Korean) down since it has been circulated in Twitter for a while already. But, I will disclose the original author and his/her rights as soon as I discover that person.
Original intention of FTA : The same slightly modified game rule applies to both Korean and US teams impartially to make the game more efficient and exciting.
Archetypal toxic installations
1. Ratchet mechanism
Open level of any Korean market cannot be put back to old level in the future.
(Soccer analogy) Korean team players can only move forward and cannot retreat even for defense.
2. Negative list (for service market)
Korean markets not to open, not markets to open, should be listed beforehand.
(Soccer analogy) Korean team should first pick soccer field area to defend beforehand, and Korean players cannot move in to un-picked field area during the game.
3. Future Most Favored Nation (MFN) treatment
No other country can have better deals than US in future Korean FTAs.
(Soccer analogy) If Korean team discovers talented playes in the future, Korean team should find equally talented players and hand them over to US. Or, US team can claim those talented players first.
4. Investor State Dispute (ISD) settlement
US investors can bring Korean government to international organizations if they lose profits in Korea business.
(Soccer analogy) Even if a US team player falls down by himself while dribbling, US team will get a penalty kick.
5. Non-violation complaints
If US investors’ interests were breached due to taxation, government subsidy, or corrective measures to unfair transactions by Korean government, they can bring those cases to international organizations even if Korean government did not violate KOR-US FTA.
(Soccer analogy) If US team does not get satisfactory points, US team will get penalty kicks.
6. Necessity test
Korean government takes the responsibility to prove that its policy and regulation are necessary scientifically.
(Soccer analogy) Points scored by Korean team will be accepted only when Korean team can repeat those points exactly.
7. Compensation of damages due to indirect expropriation
If US investors think they lose profits not due to indirect effects of policies or regulations by Korean government, Korean government should compensate for them.
(Soccer analogy) If it is believed that Korean supporters were too noisy, US team will get penalty kicks.
8. Allow service rights without business establishment
US company can operate in Korea without setting up any business entity in Korea. Currently, Korea does not have any law to regulate companies that do not have any business entity in Korea. Due to this installation, consequently, Korean government cannot tax or prosecute illegal activities by US companies who operate in Korea but do not have business entity within Korean territory.
(Soccer analogy) Points scored in different soccer stadiums will be counted as US scores as well.
9. Complete privatization of state-owned companies & abolishment of foreign equity ownership restrictions
The title says it all. US civilians and companies want to earn money by participating in state-owned companies of Korea.
(Soccer analogy) Korean team should agree to let US team players play as Korean team players in the middle of game.
10. TRIPS+ (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights)
US intellectual property holders can directly crackdown Korean people/company.
(Soccer analogy)If Korean team players foul US team players, it is up to US team coach what to do about them.
11. Allow full access to Korean financial and capital markets to US
The title says it all.
(Soccer analogy) Every time Korean team goal keeper blocks US team player’s shooting, Korean goal post will be widen 50cm.
US can snap tariff benefits to Korea exported cars back if Korea fails to implement the agreement fully.
(Soccer analogy) If Korean team players foul US team players, the game can change to American football rather than a soccer.