Philadelphia Council Woman Pushes Bill Targeting Korean-American Business Owners

Here is the latest social justice cause that is targeting Korean-American business owners:

Earlier this month, Councilwoman Cindy Bass introduced a bill to better regulate the hundreds of “stop and go” convenience stores that operate predominantly in Philadelphia’s low-income neighborhoods. Among its stipulations, the controversial measure would prohibit any physical barrier that separates cashiers from customers at these so-called “nuisance” establishments – including protective bulletproof glass.

According to Bass, these storefronts take advantage of the city’s lax restaurant liquor license provision while contributing to a variety of quality-of-life issues in low-income communities. Content to rely solely on the sale of cigarettes and alcohol, along with a bag of Doritos or two, many of these business owners don’t even sell the food that they advertise.  []

The councilwoman claims that these stores help promote crime because they sell alcohol and cigarettes.   I find it interesting how she puts the onus on the business owners to stop crime instead of the police or the public.  What else is interesting is that many of these business owners are Korean-American:

Rich Kim’s family has run the deli, which sells soda, snacks, meals and beer by the can for 20 years.  He says the glass went up after a shooting and claims it saved his mother-in-law from a knife attack. Now, he may be forced to take some of the barrier down.

“If the glass comes down, the crime rate will rise and there will be lots of dead bodies,” he said.

A bill moving through city council reads: “No establishment shall erect or maintain a physical barrier.”

It’s called the ‘Stop and Go’ bill and is being offered by City Councilwoman Cindy Bass.

“Right now, the plexiglass has to come down,” she said.

She wants to put some controls on these small stores that she says sell booze, very little food and are the source of trouble in her district.

Rich Kim resents the charge stores like his attract loiters and argues calls to police are often met with a slow response.

Mike Choe runs a non-profit supporting Korean-owned businesses. He plans on raising $100,000 to fight the measure.

“I do think it’s a bad bill that will endanger Korean Americans,’ he said.

Bass says she’s battling for her constituents.

Kim argues as a Korean-American he’s being targeted.

“This bill targets Korean Americans,” Cole asked. Bass responded, “Absolutely not. I find that offensive.” [Fox 29]

The tensions between Korean-American business owners and African-American communities has been simmering since the 1992 LA Riots when Koreantown was a major target of the rioters.  It has continued in recent years when riots in Baltimore and Missouri targeted Korean-American businesses.  There was also the protests to shutdown a Korean-American gas station in Dallas:

Muhammad, 44, who was appointed to his post in 1994 by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, says Pak must go. So should other Asian-American merchants in black neighborhoods, he says.

Could you imagine the uproar if legislation was passed that targeted African-Americans to make them more easy victims of crime and to put them out of business?  That is clearly what some of the social justice warriors are trying to do with violence, legislation, and protests to push the Korean-American business owners out of black communities.  Yet racism directed towards Korean-Americans draws little national media attention.

South Korean Ruling Party Leader Surprised President Trump Asked To Move Korean Factories to the US

I don’t see what is so surprising about President Trump’s comment, it is no secret that he has been pushing to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States:

While circling the sky near the inter-Korean border last week, U.S. President Donald Trump posed a question that later took the leader of South Korea’s ruling party by surprise.

According to Choo Mi-ae of the Democratic Party, Trump was on his Marine One helicopter to the heavily fortified demilitarized zone when he turned to White House chief economic director Gary Cohn and said: “I just saw something amazing. There are so many factories. Can’t they be built in the U.S.?”

The trip to the DMZ was later canceled due to fog and Trump had to turn back to Seoul to continue his two-day state visit. The trip was watched closely because Trump had threatened to use military options against North Korea and engaged in a war of words with the regime over its nuclear and missile programs.

“I think President Trump understood, while he was in the air for 30 minutes, that 25 million people were living in the area below him and that they would be wiped out in the event of war,” Choo said in a meeting with reporters in New York. “But I was so surprised when Director Cohn told me this story. Wasn’t (Trump) essentially saying we should build our auto parts factories in the U.S., too?”  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

President Moon to Hold Beer Summit with ROK Business Leaders

Considering that President Moon has plans to increase taxes on the wealthy and businesses to create a welfare state, President Moon better serve some pretty good beer to get these ROK business leaders on board:

President Moon Jae-in is set to hold his first dialogue with top business leaders here this week over beer to help break the ice and possibly allow more frank discussions, an official from the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said Tuesday.

The talks will be held Thursday and Friday, each day involving part of the top executives from the 14 largest business conglomerates, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.


LG Electronics Signs Deal to Manufacture Washing Machines In Tennessee

I am sure President Trump will be pleased with this news:

Dan Song, president of LG Electronics’ home appliances business, front left, and Gov. Bill Haslam, front right, sign a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday in Tennessee. LG agreed to build a washing machine factory in the state. In the back row from left are Curtis G. Johnson, a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives; Joo Hyung-hwan, Korean minister of trade, industry and energy; Kim McMillan, mayor of Clarksville; and William Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics USA. [LG ELECTRONICS]

LG Electronics’ plans to build a washing machine factory in Tennessee are taking shape as it seeks to sustain growth in the key American market while avoiding punitive protectionist measures from Donald Trump’s administration.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government on Tuesday in Tennessee, with the goal of clinching a contract by June and beginning construction by the year’s end. LG will spend $250 million on the project.

The facility, to be built on a 300-acre plot of land in Clarksville, will begin making washing machines for sale in the United States by the first half of 2019 at the earliest, LG said. The plant will be able to produce at least a million units of both front- and top-loading machines a year. The site may later expand to production of other home appliances, the company said.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

Proposed Bill Would Ban Korean Employers from Requiring Pictures and Background Information In Job Applications

This will be a big change for the job hiring process in South Korea if this bill gets implemented, but it seems that face to face interviews will be the way for employers to get around the intent of this bill:

Rep. Han Jeoung-ae of the main opposition Democratic Party (Yonhap)

Rep. Han Jeoung-ae of the main opposition Democratic Party (Yonhap)

The South Korean parliament’s labor committee on Monday approved a bill which bans employers from requiring job seekers to provide a headshot and information such as their weight and height.

It also seeks to prohibit the “discriminatory” practice of requiring information about an applicant’s birthplace, religion, marital status, assets and family details on application forms.

Violators will be slapped with fines of up to 5 million won (US$4,275) under the bill proposed by Rep. Han Jeoung-ae of the main opposition Democratic Party.

The proposal calls for punishing acts of requesting and offering illegal favors, exerting undue influence and giving and taking gifts or cash in the recruitment process with fines of up to 30 million won.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Should Korean Government Bailout Hanjin Shipping?

It sounds like the critics of the Hanjin bankruptcy think the Korean government should have bailed them out like the US did the too big to fail banks in 2008:

A container terminal is shown above in Singapore, Sep. 3, containing seized cargo from Hanjin Shipping. Analysts say that Hanjin's court receivership could be just the tip of the iceberg for the shipping industry as the long-running global economic downturn has left it drowning in excess capacity. / AFP-Yonhap

A container terminal is shown above in Singapore, Sep. 3, containing seized cargo from Hanjin Shipping. Analysts say that Hanjin’s court receivership could be just the tip of the iceberg for the shipping industry as the long-running global economic downturn has left it drowning in excess capacity. / AFP-Yonhap

Hanjin Shipping’s filing for court receivership is inflicting far larger-than-expected negative impacts both at home and abroad as major routes for trade are being suspended.

The government and creditors are facing growing criticism that they are responsible for having thrown global ports and traders into confusion.

About half of Hanjin’s fleet is stuck in ports around the world as the authorities there fear the shipper whose assets have been frozen is unable to pay fees.

The government will not be able to avoid criticism for underestimating the fallout of the bankruptcy of the world’s seventh largest shipper.

It is still pondering over contingency plans to contain the backlash, creating a task force to ensure there are no delays in the flow of cargo.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries will lead the task force along made up of ranking officials from nine related ministries and agencies.

“The government will make sure that the fallout from Hanjin Shipping doesn’t lead to chaos in logistics or a transmission to the real economy including exports,” said Oceans and Fisheries Minister Kim Young-suk, after an emergency meeting held Sunday.

“We will closely cooperate to support damaged industries, taking all possible policy measures,” he said.

However, officials from the shipping industry criticize the government for allowing the shipper to go bankrupt without having drawn up proper countermeasures.

The most urgent problem is that exports may fail to arrive at their final destination on time as 68 of Hanjin Shipping’s vessels are stranded at sea worldwide as of Sunday. [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but it is pretty amazing that a huge company like Hanjin has gone into bankruptcy.  It seems like the simple answer is that another company buys Hanjin and then restarts operations with a fresh cash flow to pay the various port fees that are currently delaying shipping.

President Park To Lead Largest Ever Business Delegation to Mexico

Good news for Mexico because obviously the ROK leadership views their country as one worthy of seeking investment in:

president park image

More than 100 business executives plan to travel to Mexico this week along with President Park Geun-hye, officials said Monday, in an apparent effort to try to forge new business opportunities with the large North American country.

Park is set to meet with her Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto next Monday to discuss how to boost cooperation in a wide range of issues between the two countries.

The trip follows Park’s visit to Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit with U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders set to be held on Thursday and Friday.

A total of 108 companies, including Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor, plan to send their senior executives to Mexico on the occasion of Park’s visit to try to explore new business opportunities.

It marks South Korea’s largest business delegation ever to Mexico. In 2010, only a dozen business executives traveled to Mexico with then-President Lee Myung-bak.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.