Weathering the storm

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Weathering the storm

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she would stop any trade deals that could jeopardize American jobs, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), in her latest economic platform.

“I oppose it now,” she said, “I’ll oppose it after the election and I’ll oppose it as president.”

The 12-nation pact is a multilateral trade deal that President Barack Obama devised and negotiated over five years to cover 40 percent of the global economy.

Clinton, as his secretary of state, supported the deal. Her opposition, Donald Trump, who has offered to kill or renegotiate existing and new trade deals, has repeatedly that claimed Clinton would go back on her word after winning the election and that a vote for her is therefore a vote for the TPP and the first step toward the end of American manufacturing.

Clinton’s tough stance on trade was reaffirmed in her latest speech, which was aimed to convince voters of the Rust Belt — the economically struggling industrial region in the Northeast and Midwest of the United States — in Detroit. As the campaign heats up toward the November election, the two rival candidates will likely vie with protectionist and nationalistic economic agendas to win the votes of white blue-collar voters.

To minimize damage to our external trade, Korea must use all possible channels — both public and private — to maintain communication with the two campaign camps.

In the same Michigan address, Clinton said she would stand up to Beijing and any country that tries to take advantage of American workers and companies, pledging to appoint a chief trade prosecutor and triple the number of officials in charge of determining whether foreign partners are living up to trade deal terms.

“When countries break the rules,” she said, “we won’t hesitate to impose targeted tariffs.”

Much of the warning has been aimed at China, but Korea, which is making a handsome surplus in trade with the United States, could also come under attack. Korea needs to reinforce its trade negotiations on the U.S. front to prepare against these shifting tides in United States.

JoongAng Ilbo, Aug. 15, Page 30
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