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South Korea to protest US decision on AD duties on OCTG steel pipes

Korea Times reported that the Korean government may file a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the US government’s move to impose punitive tariffs on Korean exporters of tubular steel pipes for oil and gas exploration.

Eight affected companies here, including Hyundai Hysco, Nexteel and Daewoo International, are also considering separate action against the US trade regulator.

The moves come two days after the US government announced substantial punitive tariffs on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of steel products imported from Korea and eight other countries. The decision overturns a February decision amid a growing outcry from the American steel industry.

Korean tubular steel pipe makers will be hit with anti dumping tariffs of 10% to 16% should the US International Trade Commission endorse the decision next month.

Mr Moon Dong min, a trade ministry official familiar with the case said that “We are considering various measures, including filing a complaint with the WTO. Domestic steel pipe exporters will suffer a significant loss in competitiveness in the US market if the US regulator pushes the policy forward as planned.”

The official said that the ministry was talking with the companies in question to seek ways to minimize the damage. The demand for tubular steel pipe has surged in the US in recent years because of the boom in exploring for shale gas and oil.

Washington is increasing its reliance on the two natural resources because the US has massive reserves of shale gas and oil, with exploration and development getting easier with advanced technologies.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, as of 2012, Korea exported USD 830 million worth steel pipes for oil and gas exploration, weighing 780,000 tonnes. Korea has little demand for the pipes so more than 98 percent of the products are shipped to the U.S.

Source – Korea Times


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