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The inauguration of the Biden Administration and potential changes in the trade environment with the United States

Author Moon, Jongchol Date 2020.11.26 Issue No

With the election of Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the world needs to be prepared for another change. The trade environment surrounding Korea is no exception. The trade environment that deteriorated due to the unpredictability and nationalist protectionism of the Trump administration is expected to improve with the election of Biden, but optimism should be avoided, as there are many factors to take into account. Factors that will affect trade during the Biden presidency include responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden’s political interests in the United States, reduced attention to trade issues due to the U.S. tendency to emphasize politics and diplomacy in external relations, a stronger intention to hold China in check, pledges to rebuild the U.S. domestic supply chain, more weight on environmental and labor issues, and the speed of policy implementation, which could be hindered by the makeup of Congress. Given the various elements that could influence the trade environment, Korea needs to develop prompt measures. In particular, the country needs to overcome potential changes to the trade environment by developing measures that deal with U.S. attempts at containing China, environmental and labor issues, and the expansion of the domestic supply chain in the U.S.