South Korea takes dispute on US tariffs on washing machines, solar panels to WTO

US President Donald Trump slapped a steep tariff on imported washing machines and solar panels in February 2018 to protect American manufacturers.
US President Donald Trump slapped a steep tariff on imported washing machines and solar panels in February 2018 to protect American manufacturers.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea said on Monday (May 14) that it has taken a dispute to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the United States for imposing tariffs on washing machines and solar panels as the measure was deemed to be in violation of the WTO agreement.

South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement that it has delivered its request for bilateral consultation to the US side to start a dispute settlement process.

The move is a set of measures that the South Korean government had taken after US President Donald Trump slapped a steep tariff on imported washing machines and solar panels in February to protect American manufacturers.

In April, South Korea said it notified its plan to suspend tariff concessions on imported US goods worth US$480 million (S$640 million) following US tariff measures against South Korean imports.

The ministry said it will respond to unfair import restrictions taken by the country's major trading partners against South Korean companies.