Good shoes take us to good places. When I returned to Korea in the seventh grade after having lived abroad for eleven years, adapting to a new environment was not easy. But, to my surprise, it got easier with the help of my Adidas Superstar Sneakers, released exclusively in the United States in baby blue. I became a superstar in school, the new kid from America in style. At the time, Superstar sneakers were a fad among Korean teenagers. My shoes walked me into my new life in Korea.
To the average consumer, product diversity is seen as a way to cultivate a distinctive individual style and pay lower prices as a result of competition. In college, however, as I studied international trade, I came to understand product diversity from a different perspective. Freer and fairer trade, which enhances product diversity, not only allows for greater individual choice, but also benefits nation-states through increased ...view middle of the document...
My internship at the Commercial Service of the U.S. Embassy, the trade promotion agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has allowed me to gain insights into the subjective aspect of trade. As an international trade assistant for the construction and architecture industry, I have aided export counseling to many small and medium-sized enterprises from both Korea and the U.S. The business atmosphere of Korea, home of the world’s leading manufacturers of ships and automobiles, has been ripe for the penetration of machining centers, but Korea lacks the high-technology, high-precision tools in which U.S. suppliers have a comparative advantage. By conducting company profile checks for companies that have signed export contracts, I have learned that small and medium-sized companies, which are often local producers themselves, can do a profitable business as exclusive local distributors or importers of foreign products. The benefits accruing to small and medium-sized corporations are a testament to freer trade's power to mutually benefit parties to trade agreements, even those working on a smaller scale with fewer resources. At the macro level, governments must be meticulous in promoting trade that ensures this wider distribution of gains, while gradually reducing the non-tariff barriers and safeguard measures that are major impediments to international trade.
Fairer trade is highly intertwined with benefiting both the public and private sectors. At FELS, I hope to gain insight into policymaking and public leadership, specifically with regard to reconciling public and private interests. As an intern at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, I closely observed two major restoration projects, and saw how the efficiency and benefit of public projects is directly proportional to the thorough planning behind them. Ideally, such projects can satisfy both public and private interests. I believe such balancing skills are necessary in international trade as well to promote fairer grounds of interaction. At FELS, I hope to learn how systematic management can be used in making trade policy, which is more complex because of the involvement of various actors from diverse backgrounds