BUSINESS

Steel industry, government join forces to deal with US import restrictions

By Julie Kim Jackson
  • Published : Aug 30, 2017 - 17:34
  • Updated : Aug 30, 2017 - 17:43
The Korean government is joining forces with the local steel industry to jointly tackle the United States’ import regulations on Korean steel, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Wednesday.

The ministry hosted a meeting titled “Mutual Cooperation with the Steel Industry” at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Wednesday morning, gathering ranking officials from the country’s steel industry, including Posco Chairman Kwon Oh-joon, to discuss ways to deal with ongoing trade issues with the Trump administration’s anti-dumping restrictions.

The meeting comes following members of the steel industry requesting government support to tackle issues arising from US restrictions on steel imports. The US has been slapping anti-dumping tariffs on Korean steel products, claiming the products entering the US market at competitive prices is adding to the US’ deepening trade deficit with Korea.


“Mutual Cooperation with the Steel Industry” was held at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Wednesday morning (Yonhap)

“The government needs to work closely with the public sector regarding pending issues such as expanding import regulations of major steel importers, as well the US’ Section 232 security impacts review,” said Baek Woon-kyu, a member of the Trade Ministry, during the meeting. 

In April, US President Donald Trump ordered a Section 232 investigation to look into whether steel imports affect national security, allowing tougher restrictions on foreign steel should it be found the imports threaten national security. The move was widely seen as an attempt for the administration to add more trade barriers to foreign steel imports.

The meeting also follows a recent special joint committee meeting with Korean and US representatives in Seoul discussing Trump’s request to amend terms of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, which has the Korean steel industry on edge fearing increase trade barriers by the US.

The Trump administration previously stipulated that foreign steel makers are unjustly selling products at dumped prices and added that the US was looking to raise tariff rates as part of the Korea-US FTA renegotiation efforts.

“We will make an effort find solutions through continued consultations with relevant ministries,” Baek added.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)