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U.S., Korea Is The Key Countries of Concerns

Posted April. 08, 2004 22:58,   


The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has designated Korea as one of the “key countries of concerns” in informational technology standards.

On April 7 the USTR issued the “2004 Annual Review of Foreign Compliance with Telecommunications Trade Agreements.” The following day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) disclosed that, along with China and Japan, the report cited Korea as one of the “key countries of concern.”

The USTR stated, “Korea’s policy for standardizing the mobile internet service at 2.3GHz frequency and adopting the Wireless Internet Platform Interoperability (WIPI) can prevent the U.S. IT companies from approaching Korean IT markets. We will closely observe the movement related to this field from now on.”

Future IT trade negotiations between the United States and Korean markets may face a rocky road due to these technological limitations. It is expected that the U.S. government will petition the Korean government should trade be negatively affected by Korean technological confines.

The U.S. government has instituted an IT diplomat in the State Department to protect the profitable sector in cases such as this.

As a result of Korea’s categorization in the recent report, the USTR will begin to carefully monitor the Korean IT sector. MFAT clarified that this observation is unrelated to the Priority Priority Foreign Countries (PFC) which commences the trade negotiation within the next 30 days in accordance with the U.S. trade law.

“In contrast with the past, this measure of the U.S. government strongly reflects the high concerns of the U.S. on the information technologies field, which is arising as an important field,” stated Cho Tae-yeol, the chief of the local MFAT trade department. “We will seek a way to reach an amicable agreement with the USTR in order to prevent it from expanding to a trade conflict.”

In addition to IT, the USTR has compiled reports on five additional technological fields, including mobile communication.

Ji-Wan Cha Tae-Han Kim cha@donga.com freewill@donga.com