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S. Korea faces 7 new trade barriers in Q1 amid growing protectionism

All News 09:04 April 08, 2020

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- Five countries have launched a total of seven new investigations into South Korean export goods during the first quarter of this year, data showed Wednesday, potentially putting the country's exports under further strain amid the economic fallout from the virus pandemic.

The total number of regulations either under investigation or in force involving South Korean goods came to 211 as of end-March, remaining unchanged from a year earlier as some regulations were terminated over the period, according to the data compiled by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

The United States, the country's second-largest trade partner, launched three new investigations on South Korean cigarettes, polyethylene and aluminum sheet over the first quarter this year.

The Philippines, Pakistan, Malaysia and Mexico also started their probes into South Korean automobiles, pigment, non-alloy steel and dioctyl phthalate, respectively, the data showed.

S. Korea faces 7 new trade barriers in Q1 amid growing protectionism - 1

Of the total regulations against South Korean goods, anti-dumping duties accounted for 157 cases, followed by safeguard measures with 45 cases. Countervailing duties took up nine cases.

The U.S. accounted for 43, followed by India with 32 and China with 17.

By segment, South Korea faced the highest number of trade barriers for steel products at 98, followed by chemical goods with 43.

In a separate report, KITA said Washington may seek to impose stronger trade barriers in line with the trade row with Beijing, which can potentially lead to more protectionism around the globe.

"The relationship between Washington and Beijing is being aggravated amid the COVID-19 crisis. The tension may even continue after the end of the pandemic," KITA said.

South Korea's exports fell 0.2 percent in March from a year earlier in the face of the growing economic fallout from the new coronavirus pandemic, missing a market consensus of a 1.2 percent gain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has recently strained Asia's fourth-largest economy, as global trade and supply chains have been disrupted.

Outbound shipments had dipped more than 10 percent in 2019 and may extend their slump this year amid a cut in global trade sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

colin@yna.co.kr
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