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Κυριακή, 25 Φεβρουαρίου 2018
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Trump Tweets about Countries that Trade with North Korea

The United States could stop all trade with countries that do business with North Korea, according to US President Donald Trump. He tweeted on August 3: “The United States is considering stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.”

What Trump means by “doing business,” however, is not entirely clear.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, in terms of global trade, North Korea is not a big player. According to 2015 figures from the CIA World Factbook, it ranks well outside the top 100 both in terms of exports and imports. Yet the countries it trades with are big players – among the biggest, in fact.

China, the world’s largest export economy, shares a 1,420km border with North Korea and it is by a huge distance the communist state’s biggest trading partner. According to an extensive 2015 study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Observatory of Economic Complexity, China accounts for 83 percent of North Korean exports and 85 percent of its imports.

According to DW, if the US were to cease all trade with China, it would have monumental implications for international trade and for the global economy. Only Canada and Mexico import more goods from the US than China (which accounts for 9.3% of US exports) while 21% of US imports come from China, making the two countries each other’s biggest trading partner.

North Korea’s second-biggest trading partner is India, accounting for 3.1% of imports and 3.5% of exports. For the US, India is its ninth-biggest trading partner, so a ceasing of trade would have major implications too.

As for North Korea’s Asian neighbours, these countries make up the bulk of its remaining trade partners. In terms of exports, Pakistan (1.5%) and Saudi Arabia (0.89%) head a lengthy group of smaller export destinations while African nations such as Burkina Faso (1.2%) and Zambia (0.49%) also trade with North Korea. In terms of imports beyond those from China and India, North Korea receives goods from Russia (2.3%), Thailand (2.1%), the Philippines (1.5%) and Mexico (1.3%), ahead of a host of others.

In total, North Korea exports $2.83bn worth of goods and imports to the tune of $3.47bn (2015 figures). Its major exports are coal and clothing, both of which comprise around a third of goods leaving the country. It imports a very wide variety of goods, ranging from broadcasting equipment to soybean oil.


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