On April 30, 2008 Alexander Vershbow, the United States (US) Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, was invited by the School of Business at Hanyang University (HYU) to give a speech on the "KORUS FTA (Korea-US Free Trade Agreement): Building a 21st-Century Economic Alliance." This lecture was held at the SKT hall located on the seventh floor of the School of Business building at HYU. About two hundred Hanyangians showed up to attend his lecture showing interest toward this issue.
When Alexander Vershbow was entering the SKT hall, he was confronted with number of Hanyangians opposing the FTA, yet no further conflict between the students and Alexander Vershbow happened.
In his speech, Alexander Vershbow, emphasized the benefits, which KORUS FTA would bring, not only to both countries, but also to the customer and the competitive businesses by describing the KORUS FTA as a "win-win-win-win agreement." He also quoted "All the experts who have reviewed the KORUS FTA have agreed that it really is the 'gold standard' FTA the benchmark against which all other FTAs in the region will be based."
However, the audience seemed to be concerned about the KORUS FTA. After the lecture, the audiences were given the opportunity to ask questions, and most of the questions brought up by Hanyangians and a professor were mostly about the negative effects that the KORUS FTA would draw, including the risk of Mad Cow Disease from the US beef.
The Hanyang Journal asked, whether the US have any plan if a Korean customer were found to be contaminated by the Mad Cow Disease due to the US beef, and Alexander Vershbow answered, "Most of the Mad Cow Disease reports are exaggerated and the percentage of the people who were actually infected by the Mad Cow Disease is very low; therefore, you can trust the US beef. Also, the US has a perfect mechanism dealing with the Mad Cow Disease."
However, he never specified what he meant by a perfect mechanism. After he finished answering the questions that were brought by the audience, he received a plaque of thanks from the dean of the School of Business at HYU and left the SKT hall.