Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Day @ the Korean Embassy!

Yesterday I went to a panel lecture about U.S.-South Korea relations @ the AEI. John Bolton was the keynote speaker. I told my employer today that I was there, and when she asked why I went, I said I went for fun, and then she made fun of me...but she was there too!
Also, I had lunch with an FBI agent yesterday!

So today was my first day of work. It was really busy but lots of fun. I got to read economic reports about South Korea and write abstracts for the minister counselor. I also got to read through newspapers and websites to put together economic news packets for people on my floor. One of my bosses then sent me to a seminar at the Korea Economic Institute about Canada's reaction to "Buy American" provisions. The speaker was Jayson Myers. Then I got to write a report about the lecture. I'm having so much fun at work; it's like doing homework for Econ classes all day! Loves it.

Anyway, interesting things I learned today. Apparently there is a loophole in the Buy American legislation that says a state can opt out if it believes the provisions to be against public interest. However, states are not sure how to define public interest. President and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Jayson Myers, is trying to raise awareness about the adverse effects of a trade war, especially since the introduction of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Resolution which is basically "Buy Canadian." "Buy American" has been hurting many American manufacturers and exporters as well. Canada and America are so highly integrated that protectionist measures have merely distorted the supply chain without really benefitting anyone.

You think this has nothing to do with South Korea, but Canada and the U.S. have to send a signal to the global economic community that trade wars will not be condoned. The U.S. and South Korea have been arguing about the terms of the free trade agreement for a while. [see here]

Overall, a fun day at work. My co-workers are all really nice, and they keep me busy which actually makes me less tired than sitting around an office doing nothing.

Time to hang out with my new best friend: The Princeton Review GRE book 2010 edition.

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