S.Korea plans to file WTO case over Japan moves

Cornelia Mascio
Сентября 11, 2019

"We have chose to complain about Japan's measures at the WTO.to prevent the act of abusing trade for political purposes from recurring", South Korea's Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee said at a briefing.

South Korea's trade minister Yoo Myung-hee announced that Seoul is filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization over Japan's tighter export curbs on three strategic materials used in semiconductors and displays.

Yoo said South Korean firms are "faced with serious damage" due to uncertainties over shipments of the three materials affected by Japan's export controls - fluorinated polyimides, photoresists and hydrogen fluoride.

He called on South Korea to halt its "unjust measures against Japanese companies" and noted that Japan had a right to invoke counter-measures under WTO if Seoul fails to comply.

The move comes just hours after WTO ruled for a second time that South Korea's anti-dumping duties on Japanese valves violate global trade rules, according to a decision published on the WTO website.

South Korea says Japan's trade measures threaten its export-dependent economy, where many manufacturers rely on materials and parts imported from Japan.

Japan insists that all compensation matters were settled when the two countries normalized relations under a 1965 treaty and that the South Korean court rulings go against worldwide law.

She said Japan has violated the WTO's obligation to not discriminate.

"Regardless, it is clear that our action is consistent with the WTO", he said. If the consultations do not resolve the issues, South Korea will request a WTO panel ruling on the cases.

Seko added that Tokyo would study the demands and respond according to the proper WTO procedures.

Yoo emphasized that South Korea wishes to resolve the issue through bilateral talks with Japan. Previously, it only took a couple of weeks to ship, Yoo said. The process usually takes about 15 months but may also last years, said Jeong Hae-seong, a South Korean trade ministry official.

The two countries have been embroiled in an ongoing economic and diplomatic spat that has seen both sides remove each other from their status as trusted trading partners and prompted South Korea not to renew a military intelligence sharing pact.

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