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Analysis of U.S. International Economic Policies and its Implications
Published May 13, 2022
Publication Source: KIEP
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This study analyzes and evaluates the impact of foreign economic policies implemented during the Trump administration’s four-year tenure, and aims to predict the direction of international economic policies under the Biden administration launched following the 2020 presidential election. The former President Trump put ‘America First’ as the slogan of economic policies and imposed import restrictions and tariffs on trading partners based on Sections 201, 232, and 301 of the U.S. trade acts. In addition, the Trump administration strongly promoted renegotiation, claiming that some existing trade agreements had been concluded unfavorably to the U.S. Furthermore, the Trump administration promoted the standardization of digital trade rules and the expansion of digital taxation in order to support the expansion of digital trade. Through the empirical analysis, we find that the Trump administration’s tariff measures had a somewhat positive effect on the U.S. industrial employment, but it is difficult to say that the policy effect that President Trump initially expected was achieved as the measures also had a negative effect on industrial production. Moreover, we find that the tax reform had only a short-term effect in reducing the U.S. direct investment to foreign countries. Like the Trump administration, the Biden administration’s international economic policy directions are showing strong protectionist perspectives such as maintaining tariffs on Chinese imports and reorganization of the global supply chains centered on the U.S. Based on our analysis, there are three policy implications. First, it is necessary to strengthen digital trade cooperation with middle power countries participating in the WTO e-commerce negotiations along with a detailed analysis and review of the economic impacts. Second, Korea needs to take advantage of the benefits provided by the U.S. federal government and strengthen cooperation in the supply chain based on norms with the U.S. Finally, Korea needs to reach an amicable agreement with the U.S. on trade remedies that have already been applied by raising the need to strengthen its supply chain with the U.S.

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