Special Lecture

[U.S.-Korea Relations Symposium] Ambassador Hubbard

U.S.-Korea Relations Symposium on “US-Korea Relations under the New US and ROK Administrations

Wednesday, July 19, 201715:00-17:00
KFAS Conference Hall

On July 19, 2017, Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies invited the delegation from The Korea Society to host a U.S.-Korea relations symposium titled “US-Korea Relations under the New US and ROK Administrations.” From the US side, former Deputy Secretary of State and Ambassador John Negroponte, former U.S. Ambassador to Korea Thomas Hubbard, and President Thomas Byrne of The Korea Society joined the symposium. From the Korean side, Professor Kim Sung-han of Korea University and Professor Ahn Dukgeun of Seoul National University participated as discussants.

Ambassador Hubbard provided his thoughts and opinions on the issue of renegotiating the KORUS FTA, and the recently scrapped Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Noting that the U.S. has already called for a special session stipulated under the KORUS FTA, Ambassador Hubbard argued that trade talks “are always difficult,” and laid out four scenarios that could unfold in the future. First, the two sides could quickly figure out ways to improve performance under the agreement and make improvements that would not require any new legislation on the U.S. side. Second, the negotiations could drag on for a long time. Third, the U.S. Congress, mandated to address trade-related issues with its Trade Promotion Authority, could get involved, making the process more contentious. Lastly, the talks could fail completely and the agreement could be terminated. Ambassador Hubbard admitted that the last scenario is very unlikely, and he explained that a few factors, such as Congress, the details of the broader alliance between the two countries, and the business leaders’ opinion, could hamper a successful renegotiation as envisioned by the Trump administration.

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