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South Korea braces for economic uncertainties amidst talks of U.S.-China trade war Updated: 2018-04-13 14:03:28 KST


To help us break-down this trade dispute between the two super-powers and how it could affect Korea, we have with us Professor Shin Sang-hyup, from Kyung Hee University.
Thank you for joining us.

Pleasure to be here.


1- Let's start with that Bank of Korea report, which our reporter mentioned just now. It said that the short-term influence of the trade dispute between the U.S. and China will be minimal, but if it is prolonged, the damage to the Korean economy could be bigger. Do you agree with this, and what is the possible damage if the dispute is prolonged?


2- There was one expert who said at a government forum the other day that actually, even if a trade war does break out between the U.S. and China, there will be very little effect on South Korea's trading activity, less than 0.1-percent change. What do you make of that estimate?


3 - For now it seems a full, all-out trade war is not yet on the cards. Would you agree?


4- Of course this is all happening while South Korea and the U.S. are in renegotiations over their Free Trade Agreement. There seems to be differing statements coming out from the two governments. President Moon Jae-in declared earlier this month that an agreement had been reached, but a few days later, President Trump said that they were close, but that negotiations are still on-going. What should we make of these two statements?


5- Amidst all this, the U.S. Treasury Department is set to release this weekend, its semi-annual report on exchange rate policies. South Korea, along with China, is concerned that its status on the so-called 'monitoring list' will be upgraded to a 'currency manipulator' level. How likely is this and what would it mean for South Korea and China?


6- Will this report be affected by the FTA negotiations? Seoul has said exchange rate policies are separate from FTA agreements, but doesn't one affect the other?


7- Another complication which Trump seems to have thrown into the mix is that he has threatened to, quote, 'hold up negotiations on the agreement, until after a deal is made with North Korea,' adding that 'it's a very strong card'. There hasn't been much mention of that since, but could he really tie up FTA negotiations with the North Korea summits?


8- Whenever Trump says something or posts something on Twitter, it tends to cause ripple effects throughout the global economy some even dubbing it the 'Trump Risk.' How much effect does he actually have? And how have we seen it manifest?


9- The U.S. and China are South Korea’s biggest trade and economic partners, and their relationship will likely have a direct effect on South Korea’s economy. How does South Korea need to prepare for such uncertainties with a potential U.S.-China trade war and the ‘Trump Risk’ factor?

All right. That's all we have time for today. Thank you for coming in Professor Shin, it's always a pleasure to have you with us and we look forward to having you back again soon.

My pleasure.
Reporter : kwon@arirang.com
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