South Korea, Vietnam seek redress from U.S. through World Trade Organization

South Korea, Vietnam seek redress from U.S. through World Trade Organization thumbnail

South Korea has asked the World Trade Organization for authorisation to impose annual trade sanctions worth at least $711 million on the United States, a filing published by the World Trade Organization showed on Friday.

As well as those sanctions, arising from a dispute over trade in washing machines, Seoul also asked for permission to impose an open-ended amount of trade sanctions if Washington broke the same rules again with regard to other products.

The demand adds to a growing list of reproaches of U.S. trade policy, especially the punitive duties with which it often targets allegedly unfair trade.

In the past week alone, the WTO has published a broad Canadian complaint about the U.S. trade rulebook and a WTO filing on Friday showed Vietnam has complained about U.S. tariffs on fish.

India has also re-opened a U.S. dispute, alleging Washington has failed to comply with a ruling on solar power.

Trade tension is rising because of U.S. demands to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and virtual paralysis in the WTO dispute system, caused by a U.S. veto on new judges at what is effectively the world trade supreme court. In one of Donald Trump’s early moves, the U.S. withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, whose signatories included Canada and Vietnam.

South Korea said it was demanding compensation because the United States had failed to meet a Dec. 26 deadline to comply with a ruling against duties of up to 82 per cent it had imposed on appliances made by Samsung Electronics Co, LG Electronics Inc and Daewoo Electronics Co.

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