SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Thursday expressed concerns over Canada's provisional safeguard measure against the country's steel products, claiming such a measure hurts free trade.
The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Energy attended a public hearing at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) in Ottawa and delivered Seoul's stance on Canada's safeguard against steel products.
Canada started implementing a provisional safeguard measure on seven steel products after it launched an investigation in October last year on the impact of protectionism moves from the United States and Europe.
The provisional safeguard, which runs through May this year, centers on implementing a tariff rate quota on volumes above a certain level. Canada plans to announce the results of the investigation in April and later outline the final safeguard action.
Seoul claimed the provisional move hinders international trade and that the safeguard did not meet criteria set by the World Trade Organization.
South Korea said there were no sharp increases in imports of steel, nor serious potential damage to the Canadian industry.
The safeguard may also result in a price hike of steel in Canada, having an adverse impact on its industries in the longer run, the ministry added.
While Canada accounted for only 2 percent of South Korea's steel product exports in 2018, the ministry said it will continue to take actions to establish favorable business environments for local firms and tackle protectionism.
South Korea shipped 620,000 tons of steel to Canada last year, with the seven products accounting for 255,000 tons.
Actor Song joong-ki announces marriage and wife's pregnancy
Special contribution by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
Adversary that challenges S. Korea challenging Seoul-Washington alliance as whole: U.S. defense chief
(URGENT) Pentagon chief says trilateral cooperation among S. Korea, U.S., Japan enhances 'all of our security'
Yoon meets with NATO chief, promises to help Ukrainian people