Will They Be within the WTO? 393
XI JEAIL 2 (2018)
The trade war between the US and China in the Trump era has become a momentous
event in the world economy. It is necessary to see how trade relations between them
have played out within the WTO from a historical perspective. Since the Opium Wars,
both economic and political concerns have changed the relationship between these two
countries. The escalation from a trade conict to trade war shows the rivalry between
the US and China for hegemony in the twenty-first century’s regional and world
politics. The economic, technological, and manufacturing competition that is a part of
hegemonic rivalry is not totally new; this is borne out by the history of the US-China
economic relations. The escalation of this ‘trade war’ now has spill-over effects on other
countries, being beyond the normative framework of the WTO. There is an impasse
in this ongoing saga, but the silver lining is that there will be a re-construction of the
multilateral trading system.
US-China Trade War, US-China Trade Relations, Trump Administration,
∗ Senior Research Fellow of Lee & Ko Global Commerce Institute, Korea; Lecturer of Korea University School of Law.
A.B./ Ph.D. (Korea Univ.), LL.M. (UPenn). ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9125-2147. The author would like
to appreciate the devoted instructions from Professor Asif Qureshi, whose valuable contribution has improved the
depth and solidity of this article. The author may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org/ Address: 17th Floor, Hanjin
Building 63 Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 04532 Korea.
Historical and Strategic
Concern over the US-China
Trade War: Will They Be
within the WTO?
REGIONAL FOCUS & CONTROVERSIES