S. Korea requests WTO settlement of U.S. duties against S. Korean washers
SEJONG, Aug. 29 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government said Thursday that it has requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to begin a settlement process for the United States' punitive duties on South Korean washing machines.
"The government has relayed its request for bilateral consultation under WTO's dispute settlement understanding clause to the U.S. side through the U.S. mission in Geneva and to the WTO Secretariat," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release.
The move came after a request from South Korean washer makers to file a complaint with the WTO against the U.S.
Shipments from South Korean washer makers, including Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., have been subject to anti-dumping tariffs of up to 13.02 percent since January after the U.S. Department of Commerce concluded the South Korean manufacturers had received subsidies.
"The government believes there had been unreasonable aspects in the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision on subsidies that provided a basis for the imposition of anti-dumping tariffs," the ministry said.
"Through its bilateral negotiation with the United States, which is the first stage of WTO's dispute settlement process, the government will work to have the U.S. immediately remove its anti-dumping tariffs, and in case this issue is not resolved through such a process, the government will request the creation of a panel, which will be an official legal process."
In the first half of 2012, the South Korean manufacturers shipped US$332 million worth of products that are now subject to the United States' punitive duties, according to the ministry. Their exports of the same products to the U.S. have dropped by over 38 percent to $203 million during the first six months of the year.