Government and GNP should Stop Railroading Ratification of KOR-EU FTA Immediately
- 2011.05.31 (13:11:21)
Government and GNP should Stop Railroading Ratification of KOR-EU FTA Immediately DP should Fulfill Pledge “Block KOR-EU FTA Ratification without Outright Verification” of Four Opposition Parties Consented around April 27 By-election KOR-EU FTA is renegotiable.
Do it immediately.
On May 2nd, The GNP(Grand National Party) and the DP(Democratic Party) leadership and the government agreed with a so-called “16-people’s convention” to bring KOR-EU FTA ratification to the plenary session of the National Assembly. We strongly censure the two leaderships’ haste attempt to pass the agreement in order to meet the schedule suggested by EU; which lacks both overall verification on the poison pills of KOR-EU FTA and the discussions on proper countermeasure and massive damage to small businesses, farmers and many industrial laborers.
We condemn closed-door collusion on the hasty ratification of the KOR-EU FTA done by the government and the two leaderships of the GNP and the DP.
The compensation plan for small businesses and farmers roughly agreed by the leaderships of the GNP and DP is nothing but a fool’s gold, which has been made hastily to meet the tour schedule of President Lee Myung-bak.
The leaderships of two parties are insisting that the KOR-EU FTA ratification should be made since compensations for small businesses such as “law for win-win of large corporations and medium-small businesses” and “law for development of distribution industry” have been properly backed up. The laws would be emasculated under the KOR-EU FTA agreement. To avoid this, we urge to renegotiate or at least notify the EU that the practical effect on related domestic legislations will be limited before the ratification. Other measures have no practical effect. Any agreement made by the government and the National Assembly has validity on the international level unless the FTA agreement changes.
As both laws would be emasculated from the moment the agreement is ratified, opening renegotiation with the EU and reinforcing protection of small businesses is not different from arguing that they should leave a curable patient to die and then attempt to revive him/her.
The compensation of eco-friendly free meals which will be ineffective as the protection on small businesses is also completely missing.
Compensation measures of agriculture have no practical effect, either. Three-year exemption of transfer tax on stock farmers is left out from the agreement. A direct payment for farm income compensation has already received an unfavorable evaluation with the implementation of the KOR-Chile FTA. Also, zero-tax-rate on assorted feed and farming equipment is a system already in effect, but it has never been suggested as a countermeasure in the KOR-EU FTA. A one-trillion won subsidy has been announced to support FTA implementation, but it is not only unwelcomed since it is a loan, but also a plan which will eventually burden farmers with serious debts. We can help doubting how these plans could save six million small businesses and 3.2 million farmers from damage.
More than two hundred discordances between the Korean and the English version
of the KOR-EU FTA agreement have been discovered, which made three-times
reversal of the ratification of the agreement in the National Assembly to lose
its authority and trust. Neither the verification nor the proper countermeasures
has been made yet. The government, the GNP and the DP should immediately stop
railroading the verification of a tattered KOR-EU FTA.
The KOR-EU FTA is renegotiable. Do it immediately.
The leaderships of GNP and DP argue that a renegotiation is assumingly unfeasible, while insisting they would open a discussion for revision after the ratification. They must not make fools of the people. Why do they not open a renegotiation now if they actually have an intention to protect small businesses, farmers and major public policies?
In the last negotiations of the KOR-US FTA, Kim Jong-hoon, minister of trade, argued that a renegotiation is absolutely unfeasible, which eventually ended with a renegotiation done by the government in last December. The renegotiation of the KOR-EU FTA is not unfeasible. The National Assembly should first organize a verification committee of nine standing committees and experts in the CSOs, and then thoroughly verify the agreement at large. The government should renegotiate with EU based on the verification.
The Act on negotiation procedures should be enacted before KOR-EU FTA agreement is passed in the plenary session.
The government has made trade contracts on its own without any prevention; and negative consequences came up in the form of hundreds of translation errors. The government again did not report the contents of the agreement to the National Assembly and the people faithfully during neither the contracting procedure nor afterwards. The government has reported different from the facts and propagandized groundlessly. The government was not willing to mediate conflicts among the related members of the society and even neglected communications with government departments and local governments. To check the arbitrariness of the government in a democratic way, law on trading process should be enacted. Without the law, it would be even harder to check negotiation autocracy of the negotiation headquarters after the agreement has takes effect. As we could see the conflicts in the process of enacting law for win-win of large corporations and medium-small businesses and law for development of distribution industry, enacting the Act on negotiation procedures is urgent to empower the National Assembly to mediate conflicts caused by the FTA afterwards.
The DP should fulfill the political agreements for the victory of the April 27 by-election.
On April 13, the four major opposition parties of the Democratic Party, the Democratic Labor Party, the New Progressive Party and the Participation Party announced a political agreement to win the by-election on April 27. On the agreement, they consented on “blocking the ratification of KOR-EU FTA without an outright verification”, “implementing a thorough verification on poisonous articles of KOR-US and KOR-EU FTA”, “preventing violation on the rights of legislation and jurisdiction caused by KOR-US and KOR-EU FTA, and enacting the Act on negotiation procedures.” Based on these agreements, the four opposition parties could lead the April 27 by-election to a win.
However, the leadership of Democratic Party made an agreement with the GNP for an ineffective plan right after the by-election; and is trying to pass the ratification bill at the plenary session. This is not only an obvious abrogation of policy coalition and the bond of opposition parties which had been made in front of the people but also a betrayal of political faith. If the representatives of the Democratic Party respect the promises with the people and the partners of political coalition, they should reject the agreement which the leadership has contracted unilaterally in the general meeting and then stop the ratification at the plenary session of the National Assembly.
The agreement made by the leadership of the DP stands against the stable life
and welfare of people, clashing right with the interest of ordinary people; it
is an undemocratic collusion full of deception on the people. If the MPs of the
Democratic Party wield their leadership to pass the agreement, that will be a
serious treachery to the spirit of the participation and solidarity of people.
They should know that they cannot avoid being judged by the people.
May 4th, 2011
Nationwide Movement against KOR-US & KOR-EU FTA
Emergency Council of MPs for a Complete Termination of KOR-US FTA
The Federation of Korean Distributors
Korea Coalition of Agricultural Workers