Beijing’s pledge to scrap tariffs on South Korean kimchi as part of a free-trade agreement signed in June may not be enough to revive the latter’s now anemic production of the cabbage dish, The New York Times reported. By classifying kimchi as pickled goods a few years ago – and thus requiring it to have low amounts of bacteria – China’s government effectively blocked imports of the product from South Korea, since the fermented dish naturally contains high levels of bacteria. South Korea’s booming kimchi exports to China quickly evaporated, soon turing to imports as the latter began exporting hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cabbage in the opposite direction.
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