SEOUL – The South Korean government regretted on Friday the decision of the United States government to apply taxes on metallurgical imports and said that it is considering protesting against the measure at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“We express regret over the US government’s decision to impose tariffs on imported steel even though the Korean government has pointed out the problems of this action through various channels,” said South Korean Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Paik Un-gyu during a meeting with representatives of local steel companies.
“If this action takes effect, it would inevitably deal a serious blow to South Korea’s steel exports to the US,” said Paik in statements published by Yonhap news agency.
The minister said that Seoul will continue to have dialogue with the administration of President Donald Trump for the exemption or exclusion of certain products, and at the same time explore ways to protest the decision to the WTO if Washington does not accept its demands.
The new US tariffs, which have been added to previous ones on specific products, will be 25 percent for steel imports and 10 percent for aluminum and affect all countries that sell them to the US with initial exemptions for Canada and Mexico.
South Korea sent 3.6 million tons of steel to the US in 2017, making it the third largest exporter to the US after Canada and Brazil.