Thursday, February 15, 2007

More FTA Issues

Along the lines of Jaime's post on the FTA and nationalism, here is a short article from last year regarding the decision to reduce the number of days cinemas must reserve for domestic films from 146 days to 73.

Personally, I think import quotas are a travesty for various macroeconomic reasons. I guess the government viewed the Korean film industry as an infant industry that needed protection before it could compete with foreign films (similar to the auto industry). But I think the film quota touches more strongly on the idea of preventing cultural imperialism - the notion that Koreans must fight against America's plan to replace Korean culture with American culture (similar to Japan during colonization).

While every country, including the U.S., is guilty of draconian protectionist measures, Korea of all countries should understand the importance of free trade in the arts. It has enjoyed enormous benefits from the popularity of Korean music and drams in other Asian countries due to the Hallyu phenomenon. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, and Korea should promote free exchange of the arts.


snowume said...

You're right. however, whenever human beings think about their own benefits, they don't put themselves in others' shoes.

Grace said...

What you said is true and from what I remember, the decision came about in part because the Korean film industry didn't need as much protection anymore. Whereas it was once the case that Korean movies fared poorly at the box office compared to their Hollywood counterparts, now it's quite the opposite. Domestic films often outperform American films and have seen a huge jump in popularity (which has a lot to do with the huge improvement in quality and maturity of the film industry), lessening the need for protectionism.