Taking the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) as a case study, I examine the influence of Korean big business in shaping Korea-US relations. For more than a half century, the ROK-US alliance has played a safety-pin role in preserving peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. However, the KORUS FTA has been a catalyst for building a new version of the alliance. While many studies on Korean foreign policy have centered solely on the roles of state actors, the democratization and pluralization of the foreign policy making process has made a multistakeholder model more relevant in explaining Korea’s decisions. From that perspective, the article investigates the influence of big business in Korea on promoting the KORUS FTA and transforming the bilateral alliance. Based upon various internal and external policy networks, the major Korean business associations played advocacy and educational roles in advancing the new economic and security alliance with the United States.


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pp. 471-495
Launched on MUSE
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