MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Korean Crisis: A Way Out – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by Martin C. Fox on September 5, 2017

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/09/03/korean-crisis-way/

In exchange for allowing US troops to occupy their territory, America’s Asian protectorates have been granted tariff-free access to our markets. And despite the “free trade” label attached to these agreements, the playing field is anything but level: in the case of South Korea, for example, non-tariff barriers to trade – such as safety standards – have been allowed to stand, particularly in the case of automobiles and appliances. Similar disparities are encoded in our trade agreements with Japan.

And so the American empire is unique in world history in that, instead of economically exploiting its vassal states, it allows its vassals to protect their own industries behind trade barriers while they are given relatively free access to the US market. The result has been the hollowing out of the US industrial base, with once prosperous cities like Detroit in ruins. This isn’t “free trade” – it’s a trade policy distorted by militarism and imperialism

If the KORUS agreement is severed, President Moon will be forced to re-engage with Pyongyang and fulfill his campaign promise to give the “Sunshine policy” a second chance. Left to themselves, Koreans on both sides of the 38th parallel will have to confront the issues that divide them, which are rooted in their own tumultuous history. In reality, this is the only path forward for South Korea.

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