Korean Hallyu in Trade Policy
In early 2012, Korea undertook two major trade initiatives with China and Turkey that are likely to trigger new dynamics in the world trading system frozen by the Doha failure. These initiatives reveal a worrisome “policy decoupling” between Korea and the United States and the EU, which have been unable to take similar moves despite being in much worse economic shape than Korea. Compared with Korea’s preferential trade agreements (PTAs), PTAs with the EU and the United States have produced limited market access. The key Korean lesson for the EU and the United States is that Seoul conceives trade policy — be it Doha or PTAs — first and foremost as a component of a pro-growth domestic agenda, not as a quasi-autonomous policy with only rhetorical references to growth and jobs.