At an industry and trade committee meeting of the National Assembly on February 12, Trade Minister Kim Hyun-jong said that the South Korean government will file a complaint with the WTO next month regarding the United States’ emergency import restrictions on South Korean washing machines and solar panels.
“The government was planning to file the complaint this month, but there has been some delay with negotiations for compensation with the United States underway,” he explained.
South Korea and the U.S. had negotiations for KORUS FTA revision in Washington D.C. on January 8 and additional negotiations took place in Seoul on January 31 and February 1. The U.S. called into question its trade deficits in the sectors including automobile and steel while South Korea mentioned its abuse of import restrictions and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) revision.
The trade minster remarked that the trade deficit of the United States in the automobile sector is mainly because the South Korean automobile market is smaller than the U.S. car market. “The South Korean market can be compared to Indiana and is equivalent to one-eighth of Texas,” he said, adding, “At a recent WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting, the South Korean government requested an approval so that it can impose retaliatory tariffs with regard to the washing machine-related disputes of 2013 against the United States and the tariffs to be imposed on U.S. products will be capable of reaching US$700 million a year.”