South Korea faces far more import restrictions from the United States than any other country in a clear sign of growing American trade pressure on its ally, a trade body said Tuesday.
Asia's fourth-largest economy was subject to 196 import regulations from the rest of the world as of Monday, with the US taking up the lion's share of 40 cases, according to the Korea International Trade Association.
Of the total American restrictions, 30 cases were anti-dumping investigations, with countervailing duties and safeguards coming to eight and two, respectively.
By product, import restrictions on steel and metals were the highest at 28, followed by electrical and electronics with five. The remainder were in place for chemicals and textile products.
KITA ascribed the high US restrictions to the fact that South Korea's industrial structure is similar to that of China, saying South Korean products are exposed to US regulations targeting mainly the world's second-largest economy.
Another factor is intensifying competition between South Korean and American companies in some industrial sectors.
"Washington tends to impose the most anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs following petitions from private companies," the trade association said. "There has been an increase in petitions from companies competing with South Korean businesses."
KITA predicted the Donald Trump administration to continue its protectionism this year, saying America may toughen the level of regulations and expand the scope of products subject to import restrictions.
Meanwhile, India had the second most import restrictions (29) on South Korean goods in place as of Monday, trailed by China and Turkey with 14 each, according to the body. (Yonhap)