Import restrictions targeting South Korean products are on the increase across the world. According to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) on September 5, a total of 195 import restrictions and related investigations were underway in 25 countries (including groups of countries) as of the end of August.
For example, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) initiated a safeguard investigation on South Korean steel last month. The EAEU has Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as its members. Companies such as Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel, Novolipetsk Steel, and Severstal filed a complaint before the investigation.
“Investigation initiation does not necessarily mean tariff imposition,” the KITA explained, adding, “Rather, it seems that developing countries are swelling the ranks of trade protectionists.” Safeguard investigations and import restrictions targeting South Korean steel are likely to occur in India as well to follow those in the United States, China, Europe, Canada and Turkey.
In the meantime, a total of 16 new investigations have been launched since the beginning of this year regarding imports from South Korea. The number is likely to be around 30 for this year as a whole.