Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Executive Vice Chairman Woo Tae-hee delivers his opening remarks during the 2020 Global Trade Outlook Forum at the Hotel Shilla in central Seoul on Dec. 20. Photo courtesy of KCCI

Three trends elaborated, including supply chains

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) held the 2022 Global Trade Outlook Forum on Dec. 20 to discuss trade issues and prospects of trade remedies.

Along with the Korean government, the KCCI attracted diplomats, trade experts, and professors in the event held at the Hotel Shilla in downtown Seoul.

There were three sessions, which dealt with next year’s trade issues, the Biden administration’s policies, and outlook for trade remedy measures like anti-duty taxes or countervailing taxes.

Three sessions

In the first session, Yoon & Yang Partner Lee Sung-bum expected that the global value chain, climate change, and digital trade would be key issues for 2020.

“In particular, several countries such as the United States, the EU, and Japan have already introduced laws related to economic security to protect their industries’ global value chain or have worked on such bills,” he said.

“Our corporations are required to prepare for such moves as these laws will affect the global value chain.”

Heading the second session, Simon Lester, former Associate Director of CATO, said that U.S. President Joe Biden would not abruptly change its trade policies comparable to his predecessor.

“The Trump administration carried out several aggressive trade initiatives. The Biden administration seems reluctant to undo some of the key actions that the Trump administration took because they don’t want to take the political risk of abandoning them,” he said.

In session three, Shin & Kim Senior Partner Kim Doo-sik worried that South Korea had become the target of trade remedies. He also noted that the global gap in the recovery of trade is feared to cause more trade remedies in 2022.

Industrial & geopolitical issues surfacing

Korea Chamber and Commerce of Industry (KCCI) Executive Vice Chairman Woo Tae-hee expressed his concerns over emerging industrial and geopolitical issues.

“As the global economic recovery slows due to new variants of COVID-19, protectionist measures such as the rearrangement of supply chains and carbon border taxes are being introduced more rapidly and are more sophisticatedly,” he said in the opening remarks.

“Industrial issues such as the rearrangement of supply chains, net-zero, trade remedies, and geopolitical issues including the U.S.-China relationship will surface. Hence, we are required to beef up collaboration with other countries regarding trade issues to respond promptly.”

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy Deputy Minister Kim Jeong-il talked about protectionist measures of the world’s major economies.

To grapple with such a trend and increase the trade volume, Kim came up with such solutions as more vaccine production, the cooperative network for supply changes, and proactive steps to counter climate change.