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Animosities will deepen Japan-South Korea trade spat

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Significance

A lengthy meeting on July 12 failed to resolve the dispute. Tokyo may activate a much wider range of export restrictions later this month, when Seoul will also bring a complaint to the WTO.

Impacts

  • The Trump administration, seemingly unconcerned so far, may now be about to attempt mediation, which would improve the outlook.
  • Pyongyang and Beijing are the greatest beneficiaries of the row.
  • Adopting the Trump playbook undermines Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s professed stance as defender of a liberal global trading regime.
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