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Title U.S. Trade Policy After the Mid-term Election and Its Implications for Korea
Author Yeo Joon Yoon
Date 2018-12-28
File KIEP opinions_no149.pdf 

On the short-run, experts predict that the mid-term election will not cause a big turn around in U.S. trade policy. After all, the current U.S. trade policy can be characterized by the protection measures being administered, meaning that the Trump administration is using measures such as Section 232 and 301 trade actions that can be implemented without Congress approval. The Trump administration's hawkish stance towards China is likely to continue. However approaches that do not involve tariff measures could be taken. It is already well known that President Trump harbors deep resentment towards multilateral trading systems, and the WTO in particular. His endeavors to reform this system are likely to escalate. Korea needs to take this whole situation seriously. Further intensifying of the U.S.-China trade conflict would be harmful for Korean economy's growth potential. In addition, if the current Section 232 investigation on Korean automobile products yields an unfavorable conclusion, this would deal another blow to the Korean economy. Fundamentally, to overcome these hardships, Korea must diversify its international markets. Korea needs to be more integrated with other parts of the world like ASEAN and Latin American countries. In that vein, it will be imperative to carry on the New Southern and Northern Policy and fully utilize the market potentials that other nations offer. Given the U.S. trade authority's attitude towards the WTO, Korea should take an active role in this seemingly imminent WTO reform.