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North Korea: Witness to Transformation

Whereas, Whereas, Whereas

by | May 16th, 2011 | 07:24 am
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Don’t you love billowing legislative preambles? Well, sometimes they are revealing, in this case with respect to that Executive Order that we blogged about earlier.

Freshman Rep. Mike Kelly (Republican, Pennsylvania 3rd district) has introduced a piece of legislation to finally get the long-suffering KORUS through Congress (editorial comment: in our humble opinion, this is about as close to a no-brainer as you can get).

Amidst the 55—count ‘em—“whereas’s” in the preamble are the following:

  • Whereas, on April 18, 2011, the President issued an Executive Order Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to North Korea, stating ‘‘the importation into the United States, directly or indirectly, of any goods, services, or technology from North Korea is prohibited.’’;
  • Whereas any export from North Korea to the United States must be licensed by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control;
  • Whereas United States Customs and Border Protection, with cooperation by the South Korean Government, prevents transshipment from North Korea by ensuring that all parts comply with rules of origin and are properly documented, and furthermore investigates any claims of non-compliant shipment and seizes such shipments before they enter the United States;
  • Whereas any change to United States bans on exports from North Korea to the United States requires an Act of Congress;
  • Whereas the United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement provides only for a committee to conduct non-binding discussions between the United States and South Korea regarding outward processing zones that may be designated as originating from South Korea;
  • Whereas it is the position of the current presidential administration and the prior presidential administration that any recommendation regarding outward processing zones requires an Act of Congress to take any effect; and
  • Whereas Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, Deputy United States Trade Representative, testified before an April 7, 2011, hearing of the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Trade, that goods from Kaesong Industrial Complex do not receive any benefits under the United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement and that any change to current treatment of such goods requires the Congress to pass and the President to sign legislation:
  • Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that…

A few critics have raised doubts about the KORUS on the grounds that it would be a backdoor to imports from Kaesong. Is this excellent summary clear enough or do we need a few more whereas’s?