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view, context, or intention of the government concerned.
The problem is that, in the area of these perspective-oriented issues, textual language sometimes fails to pro
vide clear-cut guidance and leaves open the possibility of future constructive interpretation and application. In thesecircumstances, it is entirely possible that the disputing par
ties may have different opinions, believing in good faiththat their positions are vindicated according to the textuallanguage: they may simply have different perspectives indoing business and carrying out obligations under a tradeagreement. If trade agreements explicitly spelled out thenorms, there would not be a problem. But sometimes insome areas trade agreements opt not to provide specicnorms and guidelines. This is not the problem of sloppywork of treaty negotiators; instead, this is probably caused by the lack of sufcient time for negotiations, the neces
sity for strategic ambiguity during the negotiations, andincreasing interaction between trade norms and other international legal regimes.
Specic Implications for Korea
Against this backdrop, this new trade environment of U.S.-China trade conict is currently causing specic implica
tions for Korea. These implications include both negativeand positive aspects, and they are discussed below.
Negative implications for Korea arising from Sino-Amer
ican trade disputes include the collateral damage effect, protectionism-stoking effect, trade politicization effect, perspective mismatch effect, and free trade agreement(FTA) complication effect. Of course, there may be other negative implications as well, but these examples at leastoffer a silhouette of such implications.
Collateral damage effect.
Korean companies sometimes become victims of collateral damage from the U.S.-Chinatrade disputes. As the Sino-American trade disputes con
tinue to escalate in quantity and quality, both Washingtonand Beijing are quick and eager to initiate their respectivetrade remedy investigations against products from eachother through their domestic proceedings. These domesticinvestigations are usually the easiest trade weapons atthe ngertips of the two governments for addressing a particular problem posed. From time to time, however,Korean companies get snared in these investigations asthey are unknowingly caught in the cross re, as explained below. This could happen either when a Korean product isdragged into an investigation by Washington or Beijing or when U.S. or Chinese products produced from factoriesestablished by Korean investment become subject to aninvestigation by the other side. Then Korean companies producing these products or having made such investmentsare directly implicated.
Dragging Korean products into an investigation.
creasing tendency in Washington seems to be that a peti
tion led by a U.S. domestic industry for a trade remedyinvestigation against China can easily include Korea as acompanion target as well.
In other words, the real moti
vation and target of the petition is apparently China, butit nonetheless tends to include Korea or other countriesto make the case easier to go forward because of some of the unique legal requirements applicable to such investi
gations. The same situation is also observed in investiga
tions initiated by Beijing against U.S. products. When aninvestigation is leveled at U.S. companies and products, itincreasingly includes Korean counterparts as well.
China’s fast change of status in this regard is indeed note
worthy. For a long time, China has been by far the mostfrequent target of global antidumping investigations, butit has now become one of the most frequent users of suchinvestigations. During the period 1995–2009, China had been a leading target of foreign antidumping investiga
tions; its trading partners led a total of 544 investigationsagainst it. Korea follows China in second place, with 167investigations. The huge difference in number betweenChina in the rst place and Korea in second place indi
cates the sheer intensity of global investigations againstChina.During the same period, China registered itself as the sixthmost frequent ler of antidumping investigations, by l
ing 130 investigations against foreign countries, while theUnited States is the second most frequent ler, with 333investigations in the same period.
What is noteworthyhere is that, while the number of investigations of theUnited States is evenly spread out during the period, in
vestigations of China are back-loaded, indicating the surgeof investigations of Chinese practices in recent years.
Through its hard-earned experience, China has apparentlyunderstood the importance of initiating and utilizing traderemedy investigations in order to protect its domestic in
Unlike Korea, China has been able to turn itself into a major user of antidumping investigations as it hasa sizable domestic market, which is one of the essentialsfor having an effective trade investigation mechanism in place. So, one could assume that both the United States andChina are active users of trade remedy investigations at themoment and will remain so at least for the time being.Domestic industries in the United States and China appar
ently enjoy benets from this multiple targeting strategy because in this way they can address multiple foreigncompetitors from different countries in single investiga
tions. Legally speaking, it becomes much easier to satisfythe so-called material injury standard, which is one of themandatory requirements for imposing most of the trade