Hanwoo’ Group Punished for Discriminating Importers

SOUTH KOREA - South Korean beef cattle breeders were found to have forced local feed dealers not to provide feedstuff for imported cattle raisers, the first illicit business practice committed by a domestic industry to counter expected damage from freer trade and the opening of markets.
calendar icon 4 June 2007
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According to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) Sunday, the Hanwoo Association exerted undue influence on feed distributors as part of its efforts to avoid fair competition with imported cattle breeders and protect the local industry.

Comprising 125 branches in nine provinces and with over 14,000 members across the nation, the association is an organization established to promote the sale of Korean beef cattle, often called ``hanwoo.’’

FTC officials have been investigating the association since last August, when the state antitrust regulator was first informed of the alleged business irregularities.

Local chiefs of the association held an executive meeting on June 20 last year to discuss such problems as the South Korea-United States free trade agreement (FTA) and cattle imports from New Zealand, according to the officials.

While the participants made a clear objection to the imports of beef cattle in a press conference, they also decided in the meeting to block the supply of feedstuffs to put pressure on those who raise imported beef cattle.

Source: Korea Times
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