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GuidanceMar 2, 2020 | 21:47 GMT
South Korean soldiers in protective suits spray disinfectant on March 2, 2020, in Daegu, South Korea.
In South Korea, COVID-19 Burdens an Already Strained Economy
South Korea's growing number of domestic COVID-19 cases puts the country's already beleaguered economy under further strain, risking the ruling progressive camp's position in upcoming legislative elections that could render President Moon Jae In a lame duck. This worsens a difficult situation given South Korea's deep links to the Chinese economy, also hit by COVID-19.
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AssessmentsFeb 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows workers at Dongfeng Motor's joint venture with Honda in Wuhan, China.
China's Virus Outbreak Has Dented Its Automakers' Bottom Lines
China’s deadly coronavirus outbreak has left few of its economic sectors unscathed, but the effects of shutdowns on its auto manufacturing operations have been -- and will continue to remain -- especially acute. Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, has asked companies not to restart shuttered operations until at least Feb. 21. Production for a number of auto companies outside of Hubei had already been delayed past the Lunar New Year holiday until Feb. 10, and in some cases, production still remains offline. Nevertheless, even once the outbreak subsides, Chinese consumer demand for automobiles will take a substantial hit this year, with estimates showing that demand could fall by at least 5 percent because of the economic slowdown associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
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AssessmentsOct 21, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence hold a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, on Oct. 17, 2019.
Turkey Prepares to Hit Back at U.S. Sanctions
The White House is eager to lift sanctions against Turkey, but that doesn't mean the U.S. Congress is keen on ceasing its pressure on Ankara over its offensive against the Syrian Democratic Forces anytime soon. Indeed, some members of Congress have described the Oct. 17 U.S.-Turkish cease-fire deal as a "capitulation" to Ankara, raising the prospect of continued American sanctions pressure against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government over its incursion. That, unsurprisingly, will seriously impact Turkey, raising the prospect that the country will retaliate against the United States and its interests in Turkey -- even if it will seek to walk a fine line between exacting some retribution against the United States and not retaliating so much that it results in even greater economic pain for Ankara. Whatever the case, Turkey's likely response will have a seriously detrimental effect on American-linked businesses and individuals in Turkey in the short
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AssessmentsOct 4, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
A South Korea freighter anchors at Qingdao, China.
South Korea's Economic Doldrums Have Taken the Wind Out of Moon's Sails
South Korea's difficult economic environment won't just make it harder for President Moon Jae In to enact his political agenda; in the next few months, it will threaten the continuity of his government. As with the rest of the Asia-Pacific, South Korea's economy is contending with slackening global demand, the volatile U.S.-China trade war and a cooling Chinese economy. The legislative elections that risk turning Moon into a lame duck take place in April 2020, and until then, he will have to balance carefully between delivering on promises to his supporters and buoying economic growth. This means he will have to rely more on the family-run conglomerates known as chaebols that dominate the South Korean economy to both support growth and build resistance to global trade disruptions. He will also take a more defiant stance against Japan amid their trade skirmish -- a popular stance among his base within the South
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Contributor PerspectivesSep 3, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Workers carry water collected from Puzhal lake on June 20, 2019. Puzhal is one of four main reservoirs that supply the southern Indian city of Chennai with water; all are running dry.
India's Water-Stressed Future Is Now
Despite severe droughts, a shifting monsoon pattern, rapid urbanization, increasing demand for water and depletion of groundwater supplies, Indians continue to think they will have enough water to see them through the coming year, especially when the monsoons fill the lakes and water bodies. But there is enough data to raise alarms: More than 600 million Indians face a high to extreme water stress situation, according to a 2018 report by NITI Aayog, the government's policymaking and research body. Twenty-one Indian cities are expected to run out of groundwater supplies by next year, affecting more than 100 million people. The demand for water in India is expected to double over the next decade, resulting in severe scarcity for hundreds of millions of people. The country has experienced snapshots of this future over the past few years.
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AssessmentsOct 23, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Employees assemble parts and make final inspections of Honda Activa scooters in Narasapura, on the outskirts of Bangalore, India.
Can India's Auto Industry Become the Bedrock the Country Needs?
U.S. President Donald Trump's threat of drastically raising tariffs on cars imported to the United States has unnerved the global automotive industry. Yet India appears unfazed. Washington and New Delhi have certainly sharpened their arrows as they jostle over disagreements on trade. Trump, who has called India the "tariff king," wants to chip away at the $23 billion bilateral trade deficit by gaining greater access to various sectors of the Indian market, including dairy and medical devices. And New Delhi has threatened to impose $241 million in retaliatory tariffs against Washington for refusing to grant waivers on its steel and aluminum shipments destined for the American market. But India's largely domestically focused automotive sector will fly beneath the radar of Trump's auto protectionism and continue to focus on serving a vast internal market of nearly 1.3 billion consumers.
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AssessmentsOct 8, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A worker assembles a vehicle in a Hyundai plant in China's Hebei province. South Korean automakers have increased their manufacturing capacity in China to  A significant proportion of South Korea's auto manufacturing capacity in China to 2.1 million vehicles annually.
U.S. Auto Tariffs Would Deliver a Particularly Painful Sting to South Korea
Despite bending to U.S. pressure and agreeing both to revise the countries' free trade agreement and to accept export quotas on steel and aluminum, South Korea could still face tariffs on its vehicle exports to the United States. The government in Seoul is seeking ways to avoid the damage that tariffs could inflict on its auto manufacturing sector. But as U.S. President Donald Trump concentrates on strengthening U.S. manufacturing and rebalancing its trade relationships, the $22.6 billion trade deficit in goods between the two countries looms large. Although that deficit represents only a third of that between Japan and the United States and a small fraction of its $375 billion deficit with China, the South Korean trade imbalance has come under particular fire because of the role of automotive exports, which account for about 94 percent of that deficit.
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AssessmentsSep 11, 2018 | 09:30 GMT
A Fiat Chrysler plant in Michigan displays auto body parts.
The U.S. Would Share in the Pain of Auto Tariffs
The prospect of U.S. tariffs on automotive imports is looming large in the minds of carmakers around the globe, but the United States itself would feel some of their biggest effects. If the U.S. Department of Commerce determines that auto imports harm national security, then the White House can erect additional trade barriers -- tariffs on finished vehicles and perhaps their components -- that would raise prices for U.S. consumers. Depending on their severity, the fees could put hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers out of work, largely in automobile retail. But the fallout could be short-lived. The approach of the 2020 presidential vote would force President Donald Trump's administration to find a balance between its trade goals and the economic pain facing consumers and workers. By then, the administration may have gotten enough concessions from its partners in trade deals to opt for lighter tariffs -- or forgo them
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AssessmentsAug 13, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
Cars sit on an assembly line.
Why Hitting the Gas on Car Tariffs Could Stall Everyone
Today, much of the Western world is holding its collective breath, wondering what comes next as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to pummel the global auto industry with tariffs on imports. In 2017, the United States imported $350 billion worth of vehicles and parts, most of which came from Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Japan and South Korea – all U.S. allies. But just as he did with steel and aluminum, Trump is threatening to levy tariffs totaling as much as 25 percent on the vehicles and parts of his country's closest allies as part of a Section 232 national security investigation. In doing so, Trump is threatening to upend seven decades of consistent integration in the global automotive industry – something that could have grave ramifications for all.
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SnapshotsMar 20, 2018 | 19:14 GMT
U.S.: How a Fatal Crash Creates a Speed Bump for Autonomous Cars
An accident in Arizona is causing Uber to tap the breaks on testing its self-driving cars. In the first known pedestrian fatality involving an autonomous vehicle, a car from Uber's self-driving test program struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe on March 19. As a result, Uber has suspended all testing operations in the United States for their autonomous vehicle program. The Tempe Police Department has stated that initial findings do not indicate the vehicle was responsible for the crash, but the event could still impede the technology's path to widespread adoption. As autonomous vehicle technology continues to be developed, bumps in the road have the potential to alter the behavior of regulators and developers -- as well as public opinion.
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AssessmentsJul 17, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
As dusk falls over Seoul, South Korea's bustling capital, the city's skyline comes to life.
Trade Profile: South Korea's Transformation From 'Hermit Kingdom' to Economic Power
For most of its postwar history, South Korea has relied on global economic liberalization to drive its economy. The country, squeezed between larger nations and strapped for natural resources, has used a close relationship between government and industry, as well as a proactive trade policy, to build a resilient economy. Along the way, it shed its reputation as a hermit kingdom to become a world economic power.
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On SecurityMar 30, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
Some attackers will inevitably slip through the cracks, no matter how proficient security services are.
Adjusting to an Imperfect Reality
No matter what changes are introduced to the British security services in the wake of the London attack, authorities will never be able to anticipate and stop every simple attack by every potential actor. This is precisely why terrorist groups have embraced the leaderless resistance operational model. Masood's attack will doubtless offer lessons for law enforcement and counterterrorism officials going forward. I would argue, however, that based on the facts of the case, it is better to keep calm, adjust course and carry on rather than to scrap the current system and start over.
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AssessmentsMar 27, 2017 | 09:30 GMT
A loaded cargo ship heads out to sea from New York Harbor. Over the past decade, the world's available shipping capacity has grown faster than global trade has.
Why the Global Shipping Industry Will Be Tough to Salvage
The political order that defines the world is changing, and with it, the global shipping industry. The advent of container shipping in the mid-1950s propelled the age of globalization forward as the world's biggest economies forged new and closer trade links with one another. International trade is now undergoing another massive overhaul as the rise of Western isolationism, the restructuring of China's economy, the weakening of European growth and the Fourth Industrial Revolution alter how goods and services flow between countries in the coming decades. But these fundamental shifts won't change the fact that the cheapest way to move things in large quantities is over water. As a result, the shipping industry will continue to limp along, struggling to stay afloat as countries with competing imperatives -- whether shipping, shipbuilding, shipbreaking or banking -- pull it in different directions over the next few years.
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AssessmentsFeb 28, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
The family-run conglomerates that made the country rich are at the center of its current political crisis.
Blood Runs Thicker in the South Korean Economy
For better or worse, the story of post-war South Korea is inseparable from that of the chaebol. Since their emergence under military strongman Park Chung-hee, who took power in 1961, South Korea's enormous, family-controlled conglomerates have formed the backbone of the country's export-dependent economy, driving and sustaining what came to be known as the “Miracle on the Han River." Today, the sales revenue of the five largest chaebols constitutes almost 60 percent of South Korea’s gross domestic product, and their brands – Samsung, Hyundai and LG, for example – are household names. The chaebols that dominate South Korea's political, economic and social life dictate the country's economic trajectory and fortunes. With their overwhelming importance to South Korea, chaebols have long been targets of domestic and foreign criticism, and calls for their reform are nearly as old as the conglomerates themselves. Since South Korea’s transition to democracy in the early 1990s –
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