The U.S. ratification of the stalled Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama indicates that "there is a possibility, despite the very great partisan divisions in Congress, of bipartisan cooperation on economic issues," says CFR's Edward Alden. However, Alden emphasizes that "it is important not to overstate the potential job creation benefits" of the agreements.
As Presidents Lee and Obama reaffirm the relationship and celebrate congressional approval of a long-pending free trade deal, they must also focus on difficult challenges ahead with North Korea and China's rise, say experts.
The longstanding U.S.-South Korea alliance, created as a bulwark against a communist North Korea, has expanded to include tighter trade ties and cooperation on global issues from climate change to international development.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's visit to Washington is likely to see passage of the Free Trade Agreement and coordination on strategies for pushing North Korea toward denuclearization, says CFR's Scott Snyder.
The latest inter-Korean talks were shadowed by North Korea's failure to apologize for the Cheonan sinking and Yeonpyeong Island shelling. This raises questions about renewed diplomacy on the North's nuclear program, says CFR's Scott Snyder.
South Korea's exercises on Yeonpyeong are a response to last month's North Korean attack and growing public anger, says CFR's Scott Snyder, who urges greater China-U.S. cooperation on the Korean peninsula and strengthening South Korean defenses.
The new U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement has the potential to measurably spur the economy and reassure a top U.S. ally, but President Obama needs to take firmer steps to boost a flagging trade agenda, write CFR's Edward Alden and Scott Snyder.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »