Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that, in December 2023, South Korea’s exports to the United States exceeded its exports to China for the first time in 20 years.
Amid tensions over global economic security and technology supply chains, this is an important sign of changes in international relations. According to South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, South Korea’s December 2023 exports to the U.S. and to China were US$11.3 billion and US$10.9 billion, respectively. South Korea’s overall export volume increased at an annual rate of 5.1 percent. South Korea’s overall import value fell by 10.8 percent compared with the same period last year, and the trade surplus expanded to US$4.5 billion.
Although single-month data is not enough to prove that there has been a long-term shift in trading patterns, this change can still be taken as a reflection of the economic challenges facing China. In the meantime, the United States has been trying to win support from its allies to reduce global supply chain dependence on China and to limit Beijing’s access to advanced semiconductor technology. South Korea has forged closer ties with the United States under President Yoon Suk Yeol.
Source: CNA, January 1, 2024