South Korea has requested dispute consultations with the United States at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regarding U.S. safeguard duties imposed on imports of large residential washers and crystalline silicon photovoltaic products, according to WTO official documents released on Wednesday.
In the requests circulated to WTO members on Wednesday, South Korea claimed that U.S. safeguard measures are inconsistent with a number of provisions under the WTO's Agreement on Safeguards and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
South Korea considered that the United States failed to make a proper determination and to provide a reasoned and adequate explanation of a significant overall impairment in the position of the domestic industry to support its conclusion that the domestic industry was suffering "serious injury or threat of serious injury".
The United States decided in January to impose tariffs of up to 50 percent on imported washers for the next three years, and up to 30 percent on solar cells and modules for the next four years.
South Korea said the U.S. measures affect almost 304 million dollars in washing machine products on which Washington collected 152 million dollars in duties in 2017, and 1.1 billion dollars of solar panel imports which accrued duties to the Americans of 330 million dollars in 2017.
Separately, South Korea had in February issued a complaint at the WTO, challenging the U.S. use of anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties relating to steel and transformer products.