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GENEVA - South Korea has issued a complaint at the World Trade Organization challenging the United States" use of anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties relating to steel and transformer products, the WTO said on Tuesday.
The organization said in a statement that South Korea "has requested WTO consultations with the US concerning the use of facts available by the US" investigating authorities in anti-dumping and countervailing investigations".
The request was circulated to WTO members on Tuesday and the US must settle the issue within 60 days under WTO rules, after which time South Korea can ask the organization to adjudicate with a panel.
The complaint was filed by South Korea on Feb 14, challenging anti-dumping duties of up to 60.81 percent that the US imposed on South Korean steel products and transformers in May 2016.
WTO rules allow countries to impose tariffs if a targeted firm fails to cooperate in trade remedy investigations, but South Korea charges that the US "did not assess the facts properly and objectively" in finding that affected South Korean firms failed to act to the best of their abilities.
The South Korean challenge contends that the US Commerce Department "based the determination of dumping for the relevant producers or exporters on assumptions or speculation with a view to arriving at a result that was adverse to the interests of these producers or exporters".
The charges say that South Korea did not fail to cooperate in providing information necessary to determine a margin of dumping or an amount of subsidization.
Separately, the WTO had revealed on Jan 12 that Canada had filed a complaint last month accusing the US of unfairly imposing countervailing and anti-dumping duties, not only on Canadian softwood lumber, but also on goods from many other countries.
The WTO dispute settlement system currently faces difficulties in that the US has been blocking the appointment of new appeals judges, which undermines the workings of the rules on disputes in global commerce.
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