Article (Business)28 May 2008 Resumption of U. S. Beef Exports to South Korea In the contemporary globalized world scenario that is literally run by the professional collection and dissemination of information, the impact of media and news reports on international relations and current standards of historiography is often grossly underestimated. Media does have an important role to play in the national and international issues pertaining to the domain in which it operates (University of Washington, 2007). The advent of online publications has further augmented the potential interference of news reports on the direction in which the cardinal issues pertaining to a state or many states may deviate.
This modern phenomenon raises the doubts whether the media houses are as unbiased and impartial in their approach as they are expected to be in the text books? Should or can the 21st century historians rely on the credibility of coverage by the old and new media? Resumption of U. S. beef exports to South Korea Till 2003 South Korea happened to be the largest export market for the U. S. beef that stood at almost $790 million.
Almost 75% of the South Korean beef requirements were met by the exports from the U. S. However the import of beef from the U. S. was discontinued by the South Korean government after the detection of a case of mad cow disease in Washington. This ban came at a time when the American Congress was in the process of granting ratification to a Free Trade Agreement between the U. S. and the South Korea. Considering the massive losses incurred by the American meat exporters, the U. S. congress imposed many hurdles in the process of ratifying the impending Free Trade Agreement between these two nations.
After an exhaustive session of talks between the trade and agriculture department of the two countries, the South Korean president agreed to a qualified resumption of the beef imports from the U. S. Off course this Korean gesture is expected to have a salubrious impact on the trade relations between the two countries. The fundamental limitations and realities faced by the political leadership in both the countries in the context of this issue do deserve to be mentioned clearly.
The current president of South Korea i. e. Lee Myung-bak is a conservative who favors economic liberalization. He came to power on the promise of further opening up the Korean economy and exposing the country to more foreign competition. Hence to deliver his promise of reviving the South Korean economy, it is imperative for him to mend trade relations with the U. S. The Korean people are an undeniable and integral factor, imperative for the resolution of this issue. Despite all the propaganda unleashed by both the sides, the main fact is that the Korean people do have a genuine fear of becoming victims to the contaminated beef being imported from the U. S.
Though it is a different thing that their genuine fears are being flared up out of proportion, by the vested interests. False news accounts, suspicious media broadcasts and internet circulated rumors have done much to foment the anti-American angst of the Korean people. The leftists and the political opponents of president Lee are using it as a tool to exploit the feelings of Korean people.
The need of the hour is that U. S. beef exporters should take the initiative to educate and inform the Korean people about the safety of their products.