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South Korea, United States reach agreement on rice imports
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA and WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — After months of negotiations, South Korea and the United States reached agreement on South Korea's rice import market, officials announced late last week.

Under the agreement, Korea will double the amount of rice it imports over the next 10 years, provide guaranteed access for 50,000 tonnes of U.S. rice each year, and make imported rice available directly to Korean consumers.

To qualify for continued "special treatment" under the rules of the World Trade Organization, Korea was required to notify the WTO of the results of these negotiations by the end of 2004. The terms will be reviewed by WTO members, and, if the members approve by consensus, Korea will implement them in 2005.

Under WTO rules established during the Uruguay Round, Korea designated rice as a sensitive product. Instead of liberalizing its rice import regime by establishing a tariff-rate quota, Korea committed to import a specific level of rice imports for a period of 10 years.

That period ended on Dec. 31, 2004. The WTO rules also provided that Korea's market access quota for rice, known as "special treatment," could continue for an additional length of time, but only after individual WTO members had the opportunity to negotiate concessions in terms of how Korea would continue the "special treatment"arrangement.

Earlier this year, Korea notified its trading partners that it sought an extension of the "special treatment" for rice, and the Korean government began negotiating with the United States and eight other countries that formally expressed interest.
MGR Archive 4.1.2005
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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