Plunge Pontificates

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Time to Make a Push on Rice

You know, it is statements like the following the just get the blood boiling and make you want to push the issue.
"Rice should be excluded. We don't need to discuss this any more. This is the principle of the government," Park Hong-soo said in a news briefing.

"Not only rice, but also fruit and livestock should be considered as highly sensitive items," he added.

See? It's like Park just wanted to piss off the US negotiators. Probably a good thing I'm not one of them because rice, fruit and livestock would have just become my main issues after hearing that. So, what is all this about?
Seoul will not be swayed by U.S. demands that rice should be part of a bilateral free trade pact, South Korea's agriculture minister said on Monday, adding that fruit and livestock should also be given special consideration.

Seoul and Washington appear to be heading for a showdown on the sensitive issue of rice even before the opening of formal negotiations on a free trade agreement, which are expected in May.

I get soooo tired of this crap. You want free trade, but only on your terms and definitely excluding certain items. So, if that's the way the game is played, it is time to reconsider tarriffs on Hyndai cars and Samsung electronic items.

Here's hoping the US negotiator has some nads and tells Park to go to hell.
South Korea has agreed with nine rice-exporting countries to increase its quota of imported rice incrementally to 8 percent of its total consumption by 2014 from 4 percent in 2004.

In return for that deal, reached in 2004 under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, South Korea won an additional 10-year delay on implementing more extensive liberalization measures for its rice market.

Whoever negotiated that deal should be kicked in the nads, of course, that probably wouldn't bother him because I can see he certain doesn't have any, at least any of any size or density.