Seoul com­plains to WTO over Bei­jing’s re­tal­i­a­tion

New Straits Times - - Business -

SEOUL: South Korea’s trade min­is­ter said yes­ter­day Seoul had com­plained to the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WTO) about China’s re­tal­i­a­tion against South Korean com­pa­nies over the de­ploy­ment of a United States anti-mis­sile de­fence sys­tem in the south.

“We have no­ti­fied the WTO that China may be in vi­o­la­tion of some trade agree­ments,” said Trade Min­is­ter Joo Hyung-hwan in re­sponse to ques­tions about China’s re­ac­tion to the de­ploy­ment of the Ter­mi­nal High Alti­tude Area De­fence (THAAD) sys­tem in South Korea.

Joo said the is­sue was raised with the WTO’s Coun­cil for Trade in Ser­vices on Fri­day af­ter China im­posed re­stric­tions on South Korean com­pa­nies in the tourism and dis­tri­bu­tion sec­tors.

A trade min­istry of­fi­cial said the com­plaint was rather a re­quest for the WTO to look into whether China was up­hold­ing trade agree­ments fairly.

China is South Korea’s largest trad­ing part­ner and the dis­pute over THAAD has re­sulted in a sharp de­cline in Chi­nese tourists in the South’s shop­ping dis­tricts.

Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties have also closed nearly two dozen re­tail stores of Lotte Group.

Ef­forts to hold di­rect dis­cus­sions be­tween the fi­nance min­is­ters of China and South Korea at a Group of 20 meet­ing in Ger­many at the week­end fell through af­ter Bei­jing de­clined Seoul’s re­quest to meet, cit­ing sched­ul­ing rea­sons. Reuters

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