South Korea is ready to consider "creative" solutions to open its market to more U.S. beef and auto imports to help win U.S. approval of a bilateral free trade agreement, South Korea's ambassador to the United States said on Wednesday.Nothing like a little hamburger fat to grease the wheels of economic diplomacy. I'm encouraged that both Seoul and Washington seem determined to get this passed, since I believe that whatever comes out the other end of the trade representatives' meat grinder will be not only be better than the status quo now, but will also be a better position from which to work through whatever problems occur in the future.
Ambassador Han Duk-soo also said he was confident the two countries would resolve the troublesome issues by a November deadline set last month by U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
"Just rest assured we will finish in accordance with the timeline set by President Obama and President Lee," Han said at an event with members of Congress and industry officials to push for approval of the deal.
South Korea is prepared to plunge headlong into the talks with the United States to come up with "creative and mutually acceptable solutions," Han said.
Nevertheless, as I stated here, I have not been happy about the Obama administrations idea of trying to renegotiate a signed agreement for the purpose of politicking, and I'm not too terribly pleased that Seoul has, with the ambassador's comments above, essentially acquiesced to this position.