Trade Law and Regulation in Korea

Trade Law and Regulation in Korea

Elgar Korean Law series

Edited by Seung Wha Chang and Won-Mog Choi

In the face of rapid development of the Korean economy, Korean trade laws and regulations have changed in many different ways over the last few decades. This comprehensive book introduces the laws and regulations affecting trade with Korea.

Preface: Trade laws and regulations in Korea Â… Introduction and overview

Seung Wha Chang

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, asian law, economics and finance, asian economics, international economics, law - academic, asian law, international economic law, trade law


Preface: Trade laws and regulations in Korea – Introduction and overview Seung Wha Chang In 1967, Korea became a signatory to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which paved the way, for the first time, for Korea to formally live with international or multilateral rules of world economic relations. It is well known that, in the 1960s–1980s, the Korean government put heavy emphasis on export-driven economic policies. During that era Korea enjoyed developing country status and, under the relatively loose trade rules of the GATT for such countries, Korea was able to achieve substantial economic success. For instance, the Korean government protected key domestic industries from foreign competition by establishing tariffs or non-tariff barriers. In addition, Korean export industries benefited from direct or indirect subsidies, and became worldwide leaders in several key sectors, such as semiconductors, shipbuilding etc. Korea is currently in transition from a developing country to a developed country. In light of its small domestic market and high level of exposure to the international economy, trade is the most important aspect of the Korean economy. In consequence, it is not surprising that Korea was an active and enthusiastic negotiator at the Uruguay Round and has continued to be actively involved in the post-Uruguay Round negotiations. Although the Korean government has not been particularly forward-thinking with regard to the country’s position in the agricultural industry, its basic trade position is that Korea must work within the internationally prevailing trade norms. Indeed, Korea should avoid becoming a country...