Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States of America following the election held on November 18, 2016. Wielding the campaign slogan of "Make America Great Again," he promised to bring back jobs to the U.S. and reduce inequality for blue-collar white Americans, the main group that supported Mr. Trump.
Even during his campaign, President Trump blamed the major trading partners of the U.S. for "unfair trade," insisting that such trade had widened trade deficit and decreased employment. This bellicose manner displayed by the U.S. president signaled other countries to prepare for aggressive action on the part of the U.S.
As protectionist policies are expected under the new U.S. president, his administration may mainly accuse China of protectionism, particularly when considering how the U.S. has criticized its biggest trading partner for currency manipulation, illegal subsidies, intellectual property rights, and many other subjects that are relevant to its trade activities since accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. Therefore, this study focuses on a possible scenario where trade conflicts deepen between the U.S. and China, and the economic impact this would have on Korea.