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POSCO chief urges local players to boost competitiveness

All Headlines 16:43 August 24, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) -- The chief of POSCO, South Korea's No. 1 steelmaker, said Wednesday that the local steel sector is facing trade tussles and weak demand, urging each steelmaker to step up their efforts to overcome such headwinds.

At a forum held in Seoul, Kwon Oh-joon, chairman of POSCO, said the current environment for local steelmakers is "a global steel trade war."

"The local steel sector is facing hurdles such as growing protectionism and weak demand (from local companies)," he said. "The current situation tells us that we need to change."

The POSCO chief said local players are urged to improve their competitiveness through technological innovation and cost-cutting measures, as well as working together to deal with growing protectionism.

Early this month, the U.S. Department of Commerce decided to impose nearly 61 percent in duties against hot-rolled steel flat products imported from South Korea, dealing a blow to the Korean steel industry, which is heavily dependent on the U.S. market.

The department has set anti-dumping and countervailing duties for POSCO products at 3.89 percent and 57.04 percent, respectively, for a total of 60.93 percent duties.

It also decided to impose a total of 13.38 percent duties -- 9.49 percent anti-dumping and 3.89 percent countervailing -- on products from Hyundai Steel, South Korea's second-largest steelmaker.

The duties become final if the U.S. International Trade Commission endorses them.

Last month, the Commerce Department also decided on a total of 64.7 percent duties on POSCO's cold-rolled steel products and 38.2 percent on Hyundai Steel's products. Last year, the two South Korean firms exported a total of 160,000 tons of cold-rolled steel products to the U.S.


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