Koreans from the US, protesting WTO meetings in Hong Kong with Korean farmers... And writing about the experience.

Friday, December 02, 2005

bagel, granola with yogurt, fancy preserves

Because I was late to work, I figured I would share some things...

I was at Asia Society's annual debriefing on APEC. It was the business community folks there, and the frame of discussion is entirely different than what I'm used to. A state dept. official to APEC was there, as well as ppl from APEC's business consortium. A dignitary from Vietnam, site of next year's APEC meetings, were also present, as well as a business professor from Columbia.

The content was what you'd expect from the APEC insiders- APEC is a catalyst for bringing about a new day in Asia! Free and fair trade will alleviate poverty and spread prosperity! etc. And disparaging remarks about the French.

Intellectual Property Rights seem to be one of the major issues on people's minds. This is where Korea shows its status as a global player, and naturally sides with the US. But this still is the biggest contradiction, to me, for the free trade agenada. But I guess that's why they come up with ideas like 'intellectual property.' Hey, how about a group of ppl claiming 'cultural property' and start collecting royalties for appropriation of cultures? Like, McDonald's would have to consult black and latino ppl before they commission someone to do a hip hop jingle. (doesn' that sound horrible? hiphop jingle?)

on a more serious tip, I did learn more about the tension between the EU (meaning, the French) and the US on agriculture. On the issue of subsidies, apprarently, US is willing to make a lot of concessions. (which, I would only assume, would disproportionately affect family farms more so than the Cargills and ConAgras, who will get their tax breaks and what have you elsewhere.) But the EU isn't budging on its subsidies, and this gives more leeway to Korea and Japan, who don't want to liberalize their markets. (obviously, there is a discrepancy b/w 'want' and willingness, in Korea's case.)

Another thing that was glossed over, was the issue of 'dumping' or 'food aid.' Which has serious consequences. I'm hoping someone else could comment on this.

Other things I've noticed:

it's not free trade that's going to save us, it's free and fair trade. There, wasn't that easy? If ppl want fair trade, that's all really the business community has to do, just add the word 'fair' after 'free.' Like R and Jay, we got the best of both worlds.

The vietnamese dignitary speaking the same language, (we ready to grind, just put up the start-up and everyone will get this money) but with a dialect that emphasized 'sustainability' and 'microenterprising.'

that I was having breakfast with someone that had just bought a bank in Korea. Korea First (jaeil)

I really need to step my business/economics game up. I'm barely keeping up...


Post a Comment

<< Home