Your Good News/Bad News Post of the Day

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 8, 2010

The good news: We have finally concluded a free trade agreement with South Korea.

The bad news? Well, I’ll let the following excerpt speak for itself:

3) Was it worth the wait?
No. The bulk of the benefits of this agreement could have been had years ago and U.S. trade policy has been held hostage ever since.

4) Was it handled well?
No
. The Obama administration has adopted the role of the tough negotiators who will not be rushed into a suboptimal deal. Yet this was not a matter of time running out. There were no negotiating sessions between the administration’s June announcement that it would conclude FTA talks and the end of September. The embarrassing scene in Seoul in which Obama had to stand up and admit failure was due to inadequate U.S. preparation leading up to the summit. There was nothing new about Korean recalcitrance over revisions and good staff work means resolving such impasses before the president’s credibility is put on the line.

I guess this means that we can expect future trade deals to be at least as hard to come by as this one was. Alas.

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