South Korea begins countermeasure against Britain’s steel safeguard
In July, Britain extended its safeguards against steel imports from South Korea with the European Union for three years.
South Korea and Britain are in talks to resolve the dispute, but have failed to resolve their differences, prompting Seoul to seek a countermeasure.
The ministry said Seoul recently notified the World Trade Organization it may suspend concessions to Britain to counter the extension of safeguard measures by London.
A suspension of concessions means that South Korea could impose tariffs on imports from Britain, which match the value of the damage caused by the extension of safeguards.
Under WTO rules, a WTO member can invoke the suspension of concessions three years after the implementation of safeguard measures or a decision of the World Trade Organization.
But the ministry said Seoul could immediately begin the suspension of concessions since it presented the WTO in April 2019 with an opinion that it could invoke the measure against the EU and Britain.
Still, he added that the government will work closely with local steelmakers to deal with the British decision and continue negotiations with London to resolve the issue.
Britain and the EU have imposed a 25% duty on imported steel products above its quotas since July 2018, citing damage to their steel industry. (Yonhap)