BLR  Vol.5 No.4 , December 2014
To Open or Not to Open: Korean Rice Market
Abstract: Although the “tariff only” principle was adopted in the Uruguay Round (UR) negotiations on agricultural products, Korea was able to apply special treatment to its rice and postpone tariffication of rice imports. After two decades of delay, the Korean government officially announced its decision to open its rice market beginning in 2015. This paper examines whether it would be legally possible for the Korean government to postpone the tariffication of rice imports beyond 2014. In order to address the question, this paper outlines the status of Korean rice in the WTO for the last twenty years. Then, it analyzes the arguments of those who are against tarifficating rice and of those who are in support of it. Based on the analysis, it concludes that Korea cannot postpone tariffication under Annex 5 of the Agreement on Agriculture. While it may request for a waiver under Article IX of the WTO Agreement, a careful and thorough examination is required to decide whether to postpone the tariffication beyond 2014.
Cite this paper: Cho, Y. (2014). To Open or Not to Open: Korean Rice Market. Beijing Law Review, 5, 253-259. doi: 10.4236/blr.2014.54023.

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