The Prospects of the US-Republic of Korea Economic Relations Under the Biden Administration

Adam Bubanich Announcement
Subject Fields
Asian History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Korean History / Studies, American History / Studies, Government and Public Service

About the Event: 

In 2021, the White House brought in a new administration that prioritizes collaborative international relationships instead of de-globalization. While the United States and South Korea’s economic relationship has remained relatively strong amid the disputes on trade and defense cost, it faces new challenges. Geopolitical uncertainty, enduring impacts of the century’s worst virus outbreak, and the rise of digital power indicate it is time to review the current economic relationship between the US and South Korea. What does the future hold for the economic alliance? Will the new administration focus on a holistic and multilateral approach towards East Asia or on a narrower bilateral relationship with each country? How will South Korea be affected by the US-China relationship? What is South Korea’s role? Can the new administration advance the current relationship with South Korea within the next four years? Please join our panel discussion with experts from both the US and South Korea on the prospects of the countries' economic relationship under the Biden administration.

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Speakers: 

June Park is a political economist working on trade, energy, and tech conflicts. She is currently East Asia Voices Initiative (EAVI) Fellow of the East Asia National Resources Center at George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. She is pursuing the publication of her first book manuscript, TRADE WARS & CURRENCY CONFLICT: China, South Korea and Japan’s Responses to U.S. Pressures since the Global Financial Crisis, under a National Research Foundation of Korea grant, and the launch of her second book project, EUROPE’s CHALLENGES & RESPONSES: Between Faustian Bargains with China and U.S. Pressures since Brexit. Using a framework of institutional variance, her first book manuscript attempts to answer why the three countries have not acted the same upon encountering U.S. protectionism, and offers a mechanism for predicting policy moves. Her second book project also utilizes the framework of institutional variance to examine the varied policy responses from Germany, France and the UK post-Brexit to China and the U.S. in the era of geoeconomic conflict and AI. During the pandemic, she has also launched a standalone project on COVID-19, focusing RT-PCR testing, electronic contact tracing, data governance and AI in the contactless economy.

Dr. Park earned her BA and MA in political science with a focus on international security from Korea University, and has held an internship at the UN Security Council Sanctions Subsidiary Organs Branch. She received her PhD in Political Science with a focus on international political economy from Boston University as a Fulbright Fellow and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. 

Clara Gillispie is a Senior Advisor to the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). She is also a 2019-20 and 2020-21 recipient of the Korea Foundation’s prestigious “U.S. Next Generation Research” grant.  

Ms. Gillispie’s subject-matter expertise covers topics ranging from technology policymaking to energy security to geopolitical trends in the Asia-Pacific. She is the author of numerous policy essays and reports, including “Networked Benefits: Realizing the Potential of 5G in South Korea” (NBR, 2020) and “South Korea’s 5G Ambitions” (Korea Economic Institute of America, 2020). Ms. Gillispie is regularly called on to directly brief her research and analysis to U.S. and Asian government officials, senior industry representatives, and the media, including the New York TimesWashington Post, and NPR’s Marketplace.

Previously, Ms. Gillispie served as a Senior Director for Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs at NBR. She was also a 2020 International Visiting Fellow at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, a 2019-20 Council on Foreign Relations’ International Affairs Fellow at Carnegie India, and a 2017–18 SAFE Energy Security Fellow. Ms. Gillispie graduated from the London School of Economics and Peking University with a dual MSc in International Affairs. Prior to her graduate studies, she received a BS from Georgetown University and attended Sophia University in Tokyo for language training.

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