World Trade Organization declares US tariff hike illegal, rules in South Korea's favour
Sunday, January 24, 2021
The eight duties, covering large power transformers and four grades of steel, were enacted in 2012 and 2016, during the Barack Obama administration. The defended the high rates, ranging from 9.49 to 59.72% on steel and 60.81% on transformers, by citing the "adverse facts available" (AFA) provision.
The AFA calls on accused companies to provide comprehensive information, or otherwise face significant anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs. After negotiation failed, South Korea formally filed a suit with the global trade body in February 2018.
A three-person WTO panel concluded the US Commerce Department had failed to specify in detail what information South Korean companies were to supply, and improperly ignored or rejected some of what was submitted. The tariffs imposed on, Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems, , and , therefore, were considered inconsistent with WTO guidelines.
However, the panel did not uphold South Korea's claim US authorities had an "unwritten measure" encouraging its use of adverse facts to justify higher duties.
The United States may appeal within 60 days. However, due to restrictions imposed by former President Donald Trump on the , it has less than a quorum.
A 2018 ruling between the United States and Canada also found evidence of negligence involving the provision.
- Islam Uddin, Islamuddin Sajid. "WTO rules against US over high tariffs on South Korea" — , January 22, 2021
- Yoon-seung Kang. "WTO rules in favor of S. Korea in lawsuit against U.S." — , January 22, 2021
- Philip Blenkinsop, Gareth Jones, Jonathan Oatis. "WTO finds for South Korea over U.S. trade measures, in challenge for Biden" — , January 21, 2021
- WTO Secretariat. "United States — Countervailing Measures on Supercalendered Paper from Canada" — , September 7, 2020