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Korea must choose between FTA and screen quota: US Ambassador

Digital Chosun | 1 November 2004

Korea Must Choose Between FTA and Screen Quota: U.S. Ambassador

U.S. ambassador to Korea Christopher Hill said at a lecture on the roadmap to a free trade agreement (FTA) at Korea University on Monday that the Korean government and people had to choose between an FTA and Korea’s screen quota system.

Ambassador Hill said the U.S. considered Korea’s screen quota system devoting 40 percent of annual screening time at movie theaters to local movies unnecessary when the Korean movie industry was booming. Korea could not have the screen quota system and FTA at the same time, said the ambassador.

He said if the Korean government wanted to help its film industry, it should look for ways other than the screen quota system.

The ambassador said in addition to the screen quota system, the two countries should deal with all other sectors including labor, environment, medicine, and science and technology at the negotiating table for an FTA. Rice or wheat, to which the Korean government responds sensitively, could be excluded from the negotiations, but the entire agricultural sector could not be ruled out, Hill said.

Concerning the U.S. presidential election, Hill stressed that regardless of the election result, there would be no big change in the relations between Korea and the U.S.

(Im Min-hyuk, [email protected] )

 source: Digital Chosun