Korean exporters still face growing protectionism

Korean exporters still face growing protectionism

South Korean companies are confronted with growing trade barriers in overseas markets as major economies toughen import rules amid a protracted economic slowdown, industry sources said Wednesday.

As of the end of July, South Korean products were affected by 179 anti-dumping measures, safeguards and other import regulations worldwide, according to the sources and the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

In the first seven months of this year alone, 24 new complaints involving import regulations were filed against South Korean products, but 20 cases were dropped or resolved, resulting in a rise of 4 cases during the cited period, the data showed.

Of the tallied import regulations, the number of safeguard complaints was reduced to 47 from 61 over the seven-month period, while anti-dumping cases rose to 125 from 106.

Concern over foreign trade barriers is escalating amid a fall in overseas shipments of electronics products, automobiles and auto parts, with the United States and other major economies moving to regulate imports from South Korea.

Following the 2008 global economic crisis, South Korea companies have faced a growing number of nontrade barriers, such as lawsuits involving patents and other intellectual property rights, according to the sources.

The spread of protectionism is making a dent in the export-driven economy of South Korea already hit by a nosedive in overseas shipments.

The country’s exports have dipped every single month since the start of last year.

South Korea’s exports fell by more than 10 percent in July, with the rate of decline returning to double digits after single digits in May and June.

Outbound shipments came to  $41 billion last month, down 10.2 percent from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The July figure marked a record 19th straight month that exports decreased since January 2015.

Source: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160803000251

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