US-Korean FTA

Submitted by Sasha Costanza-Chock on April 7, 2006.English | Korean | Media Ownership | Screen Quotas | WTO

Things are really heating up in Korea over the proposed US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). In the media and cultural sector, one goal of US negotiators is to reduce or eliminate the Korean screen quota system, which specificies that Korean movie theaters have to play Korean made films a certain number of days a year. The system is widely credited with nurturing the Korean mainstream movie industry to the level of popularity it enjoys today. The Coalition for Diversity in Moving Images has a website with information about their activities to defend the screenquota system, and even a flash photo show: http://screenquota.org/home2/default.asp.

Meanwhile, Korean independent media makers are trying to figure out what the implications of the FTA will be for them, while supporting farmers, labor, and other progressive groups who are all opposing the FTA.