KORUS negotiations

The New US Policy is Disruption: Implications for Asia

In short, evidence of last week’s US engagement in NAFTA, KORUS and 301 all provide a much clearer window into the extent of American disruptive trade policy.  While some staff members will be trying to hold the pieces together, it is not obvious how well they will fare when led by a President that views unpredictability as a key strength and does not place a high value on maintaining the global trading system.  For Asia, it will be difficult to rely on the United States in trade.  This is not to say that the US will simply disengage.  It is that the Americans will behave in ways that may not have been experienced in the past.  They will be less willing to defend the global trading system and more willing to take unprecedented risks to tackle what they view as unfair trade practices.  These challenges will be handled unilaterally, if necessary.