According to the Korea International Trade Association, the number of import regulations targeting South Korean products is increasing this year as it did last year and the number is showing a particularly steep increase in the United States.
This year’s number reached 22 by Saudi Arabia initiating a safeguard investigation on South Korean processing additives on September 20. For reference, it was 21 in 2014 as a whole and hit a record high of 38 last year.
The United States has increased the number of its import regulations targeting South Korean products from four to five between 2015 and 2016 and then to seven this year. At present, South Korean products are in the face of 188 import regulations in total and the U.S. accounts for 30 out of the total.
This can be problematic given that the U.S. accounted for 13.4% of South Korea’s total exports last year. Besides, most of the regulations are on its major export items, such as washing machines, solar cells and steel products, and the major exporters including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, POSCO, LG Chem and Kumho Petrochemical.
The number of the same regulations is on the increase in emerging markets, too. Specifically, South Korean products are currently facing 22 regulations and investigations in Latin America and 20 out of them started in or after 2010. The number was 14 out of 18 in the Middle East and more than 60 out of 87 in Asia.