The very idea that Koreans will somehow change their ingrained ethnocentric buying habit of purchasing Korean made cars just because a Fair Trade Agreement is signed is ludicrous. The stuff of fairy tales. Alice in Wonderland territory.

All anyone has to do to realize Koreans do not believe in free trade  is read the title, never mind the entire book,  of Korean economist Ha joon Chang’s  Bad Samaritans – The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism.

bad-samaritans

Korean economists are well aware of the myth of free trade

Get that? The Myth of Free Trade.

Koreans, unlike Americans, are not snookered by all this “Free Trade”  talk American politicians like to chatter on about just before they sign treaties that send more American jobs overseas, to places just like South Korea.

Just who is Ha-Joon Chang? “…. One of the leading heterodox economists and institutional economists specialising in development economics.

Here is a typical parking lot in a typical apartment complex in a typical city in South Korea. You will notice one conspicuous thing – the complete absence of a single American (or Japanese) made  automobile, SUV, truck or  minivan. Copies, yes, row after row of copies, but no vehicles Made in America.

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How was South Korea able to develop so rapidly from a poor undeveloped nation in the 1960s – when they exported mostly “wigs, plywood, footwear and low-quality clothing and apparel,” to a  major exporter of semiconductors, iron and steel, ships, automobiles, electronics and electrical appliances with world-renowned brand names?

By copying the inventions of others.

In other words, stealing the patented ideas developed by other nations, such as the United States. The terms  “indigenization of foreign technology,” “assimilate imported embodied technology” and “reverse engineering” are euphemistically  used, instead of what it really was, the theft of patented technologies.

Other nations, such as the United States, invested billions in research and development. South Koreans were then allowed to steal – without consequence – the results of that R&D, develop their own industries around that technology and engineering and then export the goods manufactured right back to the very developed nations they stole the technology from.

“Formal R&D was not important when imitative reverse engineering was operational.” Indeed.

At the onset of industrialization, Korea emphasized the promotion of absorptive capacity as well as the indigenization of foreign technology through reverse engineering, while restricting both foreign direct investment (FDI) and foreign licensing. As a result, Korean firms were able to assimilate imported embodied technology so rapidly that they managed to undertake subsequent expansion, and upgrade their industrial structures. Formal R&D was not important when imitative reverse engineering was operational.” See Korean Times

Also, notice how the Koreans restricted “foreign licensing?” I other words, outsiders were kept out.Keeping outsiders will not change just because some politicians sign some papers called a Free Trade Agreement.

South Koreans have a long history of stealing other nations ideas and technologies, incorporating that stolen technology into their own domestic chaebol dominated industries and then exporting the results right back to the gullible and hapless Americans who have been sold a bill of goods called Free Trade.

The bottom line question is NOT why Koreans will not buy Made in America made goods.

The question is: why have Americans been buying goods Made in Korea?

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