China sets over half Korea’s non-trade barriers

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China sets over half Korea’s non-trade barriers

More than half of non-trade barriers set by foreign countries against Korea came from China, the Seoul government said Friday, stoking concerns about outbound shipments to Seoul’s largest trading partner.

Out of 49 non-tariff measures against Korean goods, Beijing accounted for 26 as of October 2016, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea International Trade Association said.

Technical barriers to trade (TBT) topped the list of non-tariff measures by China against Korea with 24 cases, followed by phytosanitary (SPS) and belated customs with five cases.

Earlier, the two countries pledged to tackle the issue of non-tariff barriers following their signing of a free trade agreement (FTA).

But there have recently been concerns that China, which accounts for one-fourth of overall Korean exports, may retaliate against the decision to deploy an advanced anti-missile defense system on Korean soil.

Already, China announced that it will exclude vehicles with Korean batteries, such as Samsung SDI, from receiving subsidies.

Also, Chinese authorities have in recent weeks banned imports of many Korean cosmetics while rejecting Korean airlines’ requests to fly chartered flights to China ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday later this month.

Korean food companies have failed to begin sales of samgyetang to China due to the belated adoption of customs clauses. Samgyetang is a traditional chicken soup made with a whole young chicken stuffed with ginseng, sticky rice and garlic. It is widely recognized in the country as an energy-boosting meal during the summer months.

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