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August 04, 2011

North Korean dictatorship poised to benefit from trade pact: Huffington Post

A new reporting and video series has been launched by Zach Carter and company over at the Huffington Post that will explore how the Korea trade deal will benefit the North Korean dictatorship.

As Carter writes,

In 2004, Hyundai inked one of the best land deals in history. For a mere $12 million, the South Korean car company secured the rights to 50 years of use on over 41,000 square miles of industrial space -- $292 per square mile, only about 10 percent higher than the rate the U.S. paid France under the Louisiana Purchase.

For a manufacturing giant, the Hyundai deal was a dream: plenty of space for factories, room for worker housing and a population that would work for less than half the wages that Hyundai was accustomed to paying for labor in its Chinese factories.

Products made In this sweatshop, finds Carter, can be incorporated into goods assembled in South Korea, and then shipped to the U.S. duty-free under the U.S.-South Korea trade deal. If the U.S. attempted to block it, South Korea could use trade pact rights to challenge the U.S.

Future installments will look at tax haven abuses in Panama and labor murders in Colombia, and how the package of three trade deals being pushed by the administration could make these matters worse.

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