Korean Newspaper Chosun Interviews Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., Trent Lott

    4 April 2012

    For the Knowledge-based Korean Economy, the FTA is Compulsory
    April 4, 2012

    By Ken Choi

    “In promoting the Korea-U.S. FTA, Korea needs to proactively use/access the key networks and associations within the United States to forward their agenda. Not utilizing such a channel would be a waste.”

    April 1st, 2012 at the Grand InterContinental Hotel - Mr. Thomas Boggs (right), Chairman of Washington’s premier public policy/government relations law firm, Patton Boggs, LLP, and Mr. Trent Lott, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader met with reporters, maintaining the assertion that “Washington holds a very forthcoming image of Korea”.

    As a world-class law firm (specializing in government-relations), Patton Boggs has over 560 attorneys worldwide – and has been actively advising the Korean Government on the ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Currently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Columbia and the Qatari government all have retained Patton Boggs for its services.

    According to Chairman Boggs, “in the promotion of the Korea-U.S. FTA, we were certainly able to see who among the 535 members of the U.S. Senate and Congress were true friends and champions of the agreement”. He added, “We need take a more aggressive approach in presenting Korea’s economic, political & military positions to the leadership who support Korea on Capitol Hill.”

    For example, now due to its trading position with the United States, Korea might be able to gain recognition/awareness about its predicament regarding U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude oil. “We could persuade Congress by showing that Korea, an ally of the United States, is directly influenced by Iranian crude oil export regulations.”

    "We need to use this newly established network as an asset," he said repeatedly. "Grassroots organizations have been created in order to proficiently promote & represent positions and interests of the U.S.-Korean FTA. This is also another element we must focus our attention to.”

    Adding his thoughts to the circulating debate on the KOR-US FTA, “For a country that bases its economy on “knowledge-workers” (not manpower), the FTA to Korea is compulsory. The United States currently has a Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. In the midst of this however, U.S. Corporations view China, Korea and Japan to have more growth potential and opportunities.

    Mr. Trent Lott, former Senator and now Patton Boggs Advisor added that, “there are many opportunities in areas such as energy and trade where Korea and the United States can work closely together…”