Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Canada gives South Korea a deadline to open their borders

Canada gives South Korea a deadline to open their borders
Monday, March 23, 2009, 4:34 PM

by Bob Meyer

Canada has drawn the line with South Korea; reopen the border to Canadian beef or else. South Korea has banned Canadian beef ever since BSE was first found in Canada in 2003 and the Canadians say that is enough. Ag Minister Gerry Ritz flew to Seoul to deliver the message personally so "nothing was lost in translation.” Ritz told Reuters if the South Koreans want to remain honorable in the eyes of the world they must live up to WTO requirements. They have given the Koreans until the end of March to work this out or Canada will initiate WTO challenge procedures plus Ritz says there will be no Free Trade Agreement between the two countries until the beef issue is resolved.

Commentary: Whatever. I think I know how this will be received from the Korean end of the stick. Whenever I play chess with my students they always refuse to admit defeat even if all they have left is the King. Canada, I am certain there are more productive ways to go about this. If not the beef then the car export issue? Who is really ruling the issues-based squabble? Why can't Canada and Korea just be friends?

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