The Korean trade ministry announced on January 14 that it had applied to the WTO for retaliatory action against imposition of unfair anti-dumping tariffs on South Korean washing machines by the United States.
Back in February 2013, the United States imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on washing machines Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics exported from South Korea. The tariff rates were 9.29% and 13.2%, respectively. In response, the South Korean government filed a suit with the WTO in August 2013. The South Korean government won the case in September 2016.
According to WTO rules, the United States had to carry out the determination by December 26 last year. However, the U.S. did not do anything. This time, the South Korean government filed an application for retaliatory tariffs by using the right given to itself. According to the South Korean government’s calculation, the tariffs imposed by the United States have led to a loss of US$711 million. The government is looking to impose tariffs equivalent to the amount on products imported from the United States.
The issue is handled at the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) meeting of the WTO scheduled for January 22. An actual approval, however, is likely to take several months as the United States can make a request for mediation against the calculation by the South Korean government.