Friday, August 11, 2006

US ROK FTA - The road past Singapore

Korea now has a third "Free" Trade Deal:

The free trade deal was ratified in Korea's National Assembly in late June. The Finance Ministry announced yesterday that the tariff reduction will be effective on Sept. 1...The free trade association consists of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. These countries join Chile and Singapore as nations having free trade deals with Korea...A total of 153 items have been excluded from free trade consideration. Among them are agricultural products such as beef, pork, garlic and rice. 

It must be a relief to Korea's farmers that Norway's huge rice production will not set one untaxed grain in Korea, same with Lichtenstein's mighty garlic industry!

I bring this all up, due to the Singapore comment made a month or so ago. That comment was characterized as a little over 100 goods and services to be restricted. This recent agreement covers over 150. In my mind this raises a troubling thought. If it the "Singapore comment" was not a opening move, but a final minimum Korea can accept. If so these talks are truly dead.


Post a Comment

<< Home