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Trade Spats Head 2001 'To Do' List For Seoul

Feb 16,2001
The government's trade policies will be focused on prevention and settlement of disputes with Korea's trade partners this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Friday in its new year's plan.

The ministry plans to organize a team specializing in designing measures against import restrictions by foreign countries and to use the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement code if needed.

The government says it expects the U.S. administration to try to force Korea to open its automobile and agricultural markets and will call infringement of intellectual property to account. The foreign ministry also expects American restrictions on imported steel to be reinforced if the U.S. economy continues to slow.

The ministry plans to reinforce the existing consultative meetings between the two countries and to make use of private sector channels to prevent disputes with the United States. The 15th Korea-U.S. economic conference will be held in Seoul around June.

The government wants to attract Japanese investment, especially in parts and raw materials. The government will push for an investment agreement with Tokyo.

Settlement of a shipbuilding dispute with the EU is also on the ministry's agenda.

Seoul will encourage North Korea to join APEC, the ministry said, and plans to conclude a free trade agreement with Chile this year.



by Moon So-young




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