Posted December. 20, 2004 23:06,
The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Huh Sang-man announced on December 20 about the rice negotiation, saying, It is desirable to examine the possibility of switching to a tariff after postponing the customs duty system for the moment.
After presenting his thoughts on the Theory of the Postponement of Customs Duty System that day, Minister Huh said, The government plan will be released after passing through the overseas economic ministerial meeting and the state council.
Previously, as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry had reported the temporary result on the rice negotiation on December 17, they announced, Even if we extend the period of postponement on the customs duty systems for 10 years, we can always switch to the customs duty system whenever we need to.
Minister Huh also said, Although there is no change in the previous plan of settling the rice negotiation by the end of this year, if the situation goes unexpectedly, then the settlement may take longer pending approval of the WTO.
He also said, Whether an additional negotiation is needed or not will become evident within this week. and added, If there is a need to extend the negotiation time, we will inform the negotiation result to the WTO for the present and continue with the negotiation.
The government negotiators will be having a working-level talk with the U.S. in order to decrease the obligated amount of imports within this week. Also, they are planning to hold an additional negotiation with India and Egypt that are both showing differences in opinion at the last moment of the negotiations.