Standard & Poor's has warned the rejuvenated trade battle between the U.S. and China could deal a greater blow to export-driven economies, including South Korea, than the two superpowers themselves.
S&P sovereign analyst Kim Eng Tan made the assessment on Thursday during a seminar in Seoul.
He said the U.S.-China trade war will have a limited impact on Washington and Beijing, adding China’s exports only make a small contribution to the country’s economic growth, while the U.S. can replace Chinese imports with shipments from other countries.
However, he said countries highly dependent on trade will be hit hard by slowing exports to the two countries, particularly South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia, which export many components to China.
As a result, a credit analyst at S&P said it will not be easy to raise the credit ratings of South Korean companies from their current levels.