Tougher Stance on WTO Farm Talks Urged
Ruling and opposition party lawmakers yesterday called on the government to take a tougher stance in addressing the next round of negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO), concerning the agricultural sector.
Condemning the recently wrapped up draft of a WTO ministerial declaration for having totally failed to reflect the nation's interests, they urged the draft by scrapped and talks start anew.
In a National Assembly inspection of the Agriculture-Forestry Ministry, Rep. Song Hun-seok of the ruling National Congress for New Politics (NCNP) asserted the draft contains stipulations that, if implemented, would inflict considerable damage upon the nation's farming sector.
``Should the new round of agricultural negotiations be carried out based on the draft, the nation's farming industry will face total collapse and the entire economy will even be affected,'' he said.
He went on to claim that the draft includes unfavorable points for the nation in that it requires tariff reduction for all agricultural products, expansion of market access, and the curtailment of export assistance.
Rep. Song called on the ministry to take joint action with other food importing nations such as Japan and the European Union, in coping with the issue.
The ministry also came out with its own stance Wednesday that the negotiation draft should be totally rewritten, claiming it reflected only the interests of food exporting nations such as the United States. …