Korea slaps anti-dump tariffs on US, China, India

SEOUL - South Korea decided today to impose anti-dumping tariffs on imports of a chemical additive for livestock feed and medicine from the United States, China, India and Canada.

In a separate move, the Korean Trade Commission (KTC), the nation's anti-dumping authority, said it will resume a probe into whether four Japanese manufacturers of industrial robots have dumped their products here, damaging the domestic industry.

The commission said it made the final rulings against choline chloride imports and will soon recommend immediate anti-dumping action to the Ministry of Finance and Economy.

The rulings are based on the KTC's 10-month investigation following complaints by local manufacturers in December last year that choline chloride imports damaged the industry because they are imported at below-market prices, KTC officials said.

Over the next five years, anti-dumping duties on US, Chinese, Indian and Canadian choline chloride imports will be 22.19%, 10.28% to 27.55%, 22.19% and 26.88%, respectively.

In May, Seoul imposed preliminary anti-dumping duties after it determined that choline chloride imports from the four countries had unfairly undercut prices.

To offset the negative effect on the local market pending final rulings, the government imposed duties of 12.97% on Chinese imports of the chemical and 58.16% on Indian ones. Imports from the US and Canada were levied at 29.57% and 27.55% anti-dumping duties, respectively.

The KTC also decided to reopen an investigation into alleged dumping by Japanese robot makers more than eight months after Hyundai Heavy Industries Co asked for a halt to the investigation, citing a need for gathering further information.

On August 19, Hyundai Heavy Industries once again filed an anti-dumping suit against four Japanese manufacturers of industrial robots, accusing them of selling their products in Korea at prices far lower than those in Japan. The first investigation request was made in July last year.

The Japanese companies were accused of exporting industrial robots to Korea at about 60% to 70% of their domestic prices.

The companies cited in the suit were Fanuc Ltd, Yaskawa Electronics Corp, Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. The products in dispute are six-axis articulated robots for car welding and other sophisticated manufacturing work.

In March last year, Fanuc beat out Hyundai Heavy Industries in a multi-million-dollar bid to supply six-axis articulated robots to Hyundai Motor's new auto-manufacturing plant under construction in Alabama.

In South Korea, about 20 industrial robot makers are competing for a market valued at 47 billion won (US$39.9 million).

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the sole Korean mass-producer of six-axis articulated robots, entered the market in 1986 and has since built about 6,000 industrial robots, capturing 21.3% of the local market.

In March last year, the South Korean government announced plans to provide 110 billion won in support to the local industrial robot sector by 2009, selecting it as one of the nation's 16 new engines for economic growth.





2005-2012 All Rights Reserved.