Competitive Framing: Agricultural Protection and Trade Liberalization in the Korea-US FTA Negotiations

Vinod K. Aggarwal and Sonia Aggarwal

Ehwa Journal of Social Science, 2015

Almost all countries have faced protectionist pressures from their agricultural sector, particularly during trade negotiations. Korea is no exception. This article examines the strategy of competitive framing used by both the farm lobby and Korean government in the context of the Korea-US Free Trade (KORUS) negotiations. Farmers have framed their efforts by appealing to survival, cultural and health advocacy, and the need to resist foreign domination. In its own framing, the government has emphasized Korea’s global economic and security
position. Although framing has been essential as strategies by both parties, the government has also overcome resistance by reorganizing the government to gain the upper hand in the bureaucracy and compensating farmers to allow negotiations to move forward.

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