The South Korean government is planning to seek measures so that it can make a declaration on waiving its developing country status in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations.
The United States is currently calling for South Korea to waive its developing country status in the ongoing multilateral negotiations.
Yet the South Korean government intends to confirm that the DDA is not included in the ongoing talks. “If the DDA is excluded, only seafood subsidies and digital trade-related talks remain in the ongoing multilateral negotiations,” a government official said, adding, “This means there will be no problem even if we make the declaration in the future DDA negotiations.”
Also, the South Korean government intends to confirm that the United States will not conclude any new multilateral agreement other than the DDA. This is because South Korea’s benefit in the agricultural sector can disappear in the event of a new agreement. In other words, the South Korean government wants to make sure that no damage will occur to agricultural tariff rates and subsidies even if South Korea waives its developing country status.
Earlier, on July 26, U.S. President Donald Trump told the Office of the United States Trade Representative to find every measure within 90 days so that economically developed countries can no longer benefit from the developing country status in the WTO. At that time, the president targeted OECD members and those about to become OECD members as G20 members classified by the World Bank as high-income countries and accounting for 0.5 percent or more of the total international trade volume. South Korea satisfies all the four criteria.
The South Korean government is expected to hold an economic ministerial meeting on Oct. 25 to officially declare that it waives its status as a developing country.