SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Korea Bizwire) – The United States’ trade policy will inevitably face various changes under the new Donald Trump administration, but unlike what many believe, the U.S. will not be seeking to reduce its trade with other countries, local experts said Wednesday.
“Trump’s protectionist trade view is in fact practicalism based on his ‘America First’ approach that seeks practical gains instead of ideological ones,” said Lee Jong-geon, head of a Washington-based trade center run by South Korea’s state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).
Lee insisted the U.S. will continue to be a major trading partner for South Korean companies, as long as they offer ways for both countries to benefit.
The KOTRA official also said new U.S. trade and economic policies under the so-called Trumpnomics may open new doors for South Korean firms in the construction, engineering and defense industries, noting the U.S. president-elect has vowed to spend up to US$1 trillion in new social infrastructure projects.
The remarks came at a seminar held on the sidelines of an international trade fair hosted by KOTRA here with some 800 local firms and 350 foreign contractors taking part.
“Our firms need to prepare for changes in U.S. trade policies, especially the ones that can be changed at the discretion of the U.S. president,” he added.
The seminar was also attended by the heads of KOTRA trade centers in Taiwan, Vietnam and other areas, each offering their views on market conditions and ways to boost South Korean exports to their regions.
Park Han-jin, chief of the Taipei trade center, stressed a need to increase shipments of high-end consumer goods to China, pointing to a growing demand from China’s middle class for advanced, high-quality products.
Lee Young-seon, head of the KOTRA trade center in Sao Paulo, advised South Korean companies to invest in Brazil’s energy, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, industrial sectors that he said will benefit the most following a long-awaited economic recovery in the South American nation.
“Global uncertainties continue to grow following Trump’s election, but now is really the time when companies must work to develop new opportunities and new markets,” said Yoon Won-seok, head of KOTRA’s trade information bureau. “KOTRA too will work to boost its support for local businesses.”