Trading Issues

The history of NAFTA is tied up with an earlier free trade agreement with Canada negotiated by the Reagan administration in the late 1980s.  In fact, there was a series of post-WWII trade agreements with wealthy countries that had support from labor, because of labor's fierce anti-Communist tendencies.  Both George Meany and Lane Kirkland, who were the leaders of the AFL-CIO during this time period, both took pride in their support of the Vietnam war at the expense of domestic priorities.  Meany famously said that he proudly never walked a picket line in his life.  Before globalization started earnestly in the early 1970s, this made sense, as reducing tariffs didn't hurt the leverage of American workers, and liberal internationalists were running the government.  The trade agreement with South Korea might seem to follow this trend, since both are wealthy countries.  Here's the problem.

Significantly, Washington accommodated Seoul's requests to consider development of Kaesong, the South Korean-run industrial zone in North Korea.

Kaesong is a slave labor camp.  

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North Koreas Economy and Nuclear Testing

This past Tuesday the North Korean government announced that it would proceed with the testing of a nuclear weapon sometime in the future. Since the release of that statement there has been a lot of speculation concerning whether North Korea really would carry out its plans for testing the device. In the last 24 hours there have several news reports that the test would take place sometime this weekend. Here's the question: What would be the consequences for the North if they followed through and carried out the test in economic terms?

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