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  • Author: Yoon-Shik Park
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: Four and a half years after the agreement between the U.S and Korean governments, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA or KORUS) was finally approved by both the U.S. Congress and the Korean Parliament in late 2011 and has been in effect since March 15, 2012. KORUS is the most important free trade agreement for the U.S. since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that came into force in 1994. Korea has become an important trade partner of the United States, for which Korea is the 7th largest trading partner, 5th largest export market for agricultural products, 2nd largest market for U.S. services in Asia, and 10th largest market for information technology products. The total U.S.-Korea trade volume tripled over just two decades between 1990 and 2011. However, the relative importance of two countries' bilateral trade has declined in recent decades. This trendline decline is expected to be reversed in the coming years because of the KORUS. Several studies have been conducted to estimate the potential effects of KORUS. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) study in 2007 estimated that U.S. GDP would increase by $10 to $12 billion (about 0.1%) and U.S. exports would rise by $9.7 billion to $10.9 billion, if KORUS were fully implemented. A University of Michigan study, commissioned by the Korea Economic Institute, estimated that U.S. GDP would increase by $25 billion (0.14% of GDP). This estimate was larger than the US ITC result, in part because the study included the effects of liberalization in services trade. The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) estimated the potential economic impact of KORUS on Korea's economy. The study concluded that KORUS would lead to an increase of 0.42% to 0.59% in Korean GDP according to a static analysis and 1.99% to 2.27% according to a dynamic analysis. A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2009 found that America would suffer a net loss of more than 345,000 jobs, $35 billion in lost export sales and U.S. GDP failing to grow by $40 billion, if KORUS were NOT implemented while the European Union and Canada moved forward to implement FTAs with Korea.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Korea
  • Author: Bruce Klingner
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S.–South Korean security alliance has been indispensable in achieving Washington's strategic objectives and maintaining peace and stability in northeast Asia. A confluence of developments, however, is forcing changes in the alliance. These factors include a changing threat environment, an evolving U.S. military strategy, and South Korea's desire for greater autonomy as a result of its improving military and economic capabilities. It is important that the alliance begin the evolution from a singularly focused mission to a more robust values-based relationship that looks beyond the Korean Peninsula. Without substantial and sustained involvement by the senior political and military leadership, the alliance may not be sufficiently adapted to the new threat environment, including as a hedge against Chinese military modernization. The U.S. and South Korean administrations must also provide a clear strategic vision of the enduring need for the alliance and implement a robust public diplomacy program to prevent the erosion of public and legislative support. The plan to develop a U.S.–South Korean strategic alliance is a testament both to the successes of the long-standing military relationship and to the shared values of the two democracies.
  • Topic: Economics, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, South Korea