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Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

In Culture of Corruption, Economic Justice, Election 2006, Election 2008, Environment, Global War On Terror, HIV/SIDA, Immigration, International politics, International Public Health, International Trade, Labor, Laws & Regulation, Misc., US Politics on September 13, 2006 at 2:03 pm

Negotiations are gonna be tense on this one:

 

In addition to strenuous negotiations on sensitive agricultural goods, Seoul trade officials are now facing the challenges of responding to irksome U.S. demands concerning the financial sector.

Seoul’s Trade Ministry said it expected agricultural talks to intensify, and the services and investment sectors, including financial services, to enter full-fledged negotiations during the four-day FTA talks in Seattle.

While not delineated, here’s a nice note from the piece on corporate hegemony above and beyond national sovereignty (read up on NAFTA’s Chapter 11 [pdf], a.k.a. “investor protections,” for a better understanding on this critical point that will have massive implications over generations):

 

Classified as “special financial institutions regulated by unique laws,” Seoul firmly says they are not subject to the trade talks. The government fears that new complications would emerge, such as foreign financial institutions filing lawsuits against the government for assisting public banks.

[…]

Both countries hope to conclude the talks by March 2007 to get the pact ratified before U.S. President George W. Bush’s trade negotiation authority expires on July 1, 2007. The trade promotion authority allows the Bush administration to negotiate a free trade deal without Congress having to approve amendments.

Thanks to Inner City Press for the heads up on this article. Remember,it is almost three years to the day (9/10/03) that, Lee Kyang Hae, 55, who headed South Korea’s Federation of Farmers and Fishermen, stabbed himself in protest against the WTO, ‘which destroys Korea’s economy and its agriculture.'”

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