The United States decided to impose punitive tariffs on EU products from Oct. 18. This means South Korea’s export conditions will be further exacerbated.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, South Korea’s monthly exports have shown a year-on-year decline since December last year. Besides, the exports have fallen by more than 10 percent for four months in a row. Last month, South Korea’s exports totaled US$44.71 billion on a customs clearance basis, down 11.7 percent from a year ago due to the prolonging trade war between the United States and China and Japan’s display and semiconductor material export curbs. During the period, South Korea’s exports to China, the United States and Japan fell 21.8 percent, 2.2 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively.
The upcoming U.S.-EU trade war will add uncertainties to the global economy. The fact that the European Union is being targeted by the United States is very burdensome for South Korea in that South Korea’s exports to the European Union increased 10.6 percent last month. With the trade war around the corner, the exports are likely to take a direct hit and then the South Korean economy as a whole will face even more difficulties.