While most of the attention in Washington has focused on the resignation of that hopeless and venal incompetent, Attorney General Gonzalez, there was another resignation recently that affects Taiwan indirectly. The Nelson Report noted:

All this by way of saying there were two resignations today which will resonate, one you all know about (Atty. Gen. Gonzalez) and one that may not be “national news”, but is perhaps just as important to us inside trade types (Deputy USTR Karan Bhatia).

Bhatia, who was in charge of the Asia portfolio for USTR Sue Schwab, says he’s leaving government after six years, with no set plans except to reacquaint himself with family life.

The reaction in the trade community was immediate and while flattering to Bhatia, the consensus is that KORUS…the US-S. Korea FTA…has suffered another heavy blow.

Trade players supporting KORUS had been counting on Bhatia to help lead a more focused, grass-roots lobbying effort, in concert with the affected business community.

When the Korean FTA was first mooted, there was a widespread reaction from analysts that it would have a very negative impact on Taiwan, since Korean companies would have favored status in the markets in which firms from the two nations compete. In this case, bad news for Korea is probably good news for Taiwan.