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EAEU to exclude coated, cold-rolled steel products from safeguard

All Headlines 21:37 June 12, 2019

SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) -- The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has decided to exclude coated and cold-rolled steel products from a safeguard measure, allowing a stable supply of steel sheets essential for automobile production at a Hyundai Motor Co. plant in Russia, the trade ministry said Wednesday.

In its final investigation report announced Monday, the EAEU said that among the three types of steel products that were subject to their probe -- hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated -- only hot-rolled will face the trade restriction for a year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The EAEU -- which has Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as its members -- kicked off the investigation in August last year amid concerns over an influx of steel products into the region in the face of other countries' growing protectionism.

South Korea has stressed that steel products for automobiles and gas pipes, whose demand cannot be met with regional production, should be exempted from the safeguard measure.

In 2018, South Korea exported 207,000 tons, or US$198 million worth, of the three types of steel products to the EAEU countries, with coated and hot-rolled steel products accounting for 52 percent and 45.7 percent of the total, respectively.

The ministry said the impact of the envisioned safeguard on hot-rolled steel will also remain limited as it allows duty-free exports of the product for up to the average amount exported from 2015 to 2017.

The EAEU will notify the World Trade Organization of its plan and finalize its decision in August, the ministry said.

The government said it will continue efforts to deliver the opinion of the country's steel industry to the EAEU and exercise all rights guaranteed under WTO agreements.
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