□ The US-China trade war is propagating uncertainties within the global trade order, weakening global value chains and the WTO system. These uncertainties pose a considerable threat to the Korean economy which is heavily dependent on foreign trade. To tackle this, the Korean government needs to positively consider joining the CPTPP and make efforts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of policies for the materials and components industries as well as export support.
- The US-China trade conflict is generating uncertainty over the global trade order and economic prospects.
- This study compares and analyzes the impact of the US-China trade war on major manufacturing countries and presents the policy countermeasures for Korea.
- The trade war between the US and China is already having a tangible impact, particularly on major exporting countries such as Germany and Korea, weighing down on their GDP growth.
- Mounting uncertainties in the global trade environment and growing trade protectionism pose a great threat to Korea as its economy is heavily dependent on manufacturing exports.
- Compared to Germany and Japan, Korea is likely to experience more negative effects from the trade war due to its export structure.
- The US-China trade conflict could directly/indirectly reduce Korea's exports, which in turn, could lead to a fall in GDP.
- The analysis found that due to the differences in export volume and exportto-GDP ratios between the two countries, China is likely to be hit far harder than the US as a result of the intensifying trade disputes.
- Most of the negative impact on the Korean economy from the trade war derives from the reduced exports to China. Also, the electronics and chemical industries were hit hard.
- The US’ trade policies are highly likely to disrupt the WTO trading system and GVCs. Korea’s future policies need to focus on responding to the changes in the global trade order, including the weakening of the WTO system and GVCs and ensuing fall in global trade volume.
- Korea’s accession to the CPTPP is a necessary approach to reduce its dependence on exports to China.
- Japan’s export restriction on Korea is a testimony of the weakening WTO system due to the abuse of the national security exception clause.
- To cope with a weakening WTO system and GVCs, efforts should be made to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of support policies for the material and parts industries.
- There should be efforts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the export support policy which is needed to alleviate Korea’s high concentration of export products and destinations.