Trade concessions granted to EU may be suspended

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Trade concessions granted to EU may be suspended

Korea's Industry Ministry said Tuesday it will consider a suspension of concessions to cope with the European Union's (EU) safeguard against imported steel products that went into effect in February.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it sent a notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In the notification, the country said it may consider rolling out a countermeasure worth 568.1 million euros ($638 million) on European steel imported to the country.

The EU claimed the safeguard was in response to U.S. protectionist policies.

These policies have caused steel producers to look to the European market as an alternative.

While a country can implement a safeguard measure when a sharp rise in the cost of some products has an adverse impact on its domestic industry, the ministry said it can seek a countermeasure as well when a decision was made that hinders the fair trading of goods.

The amount was based on the assessment that South Korean firms may pay more in tariffs following the EU's safeguard.

Korea claimed that the safeguard does not fall in line with WTO policy, but it failed to reach an agreement with the EU in January.

The ministry said it will continue to review the suspension by taking various factors from home and abroad into consideration.

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