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Gov¡¯t subsidy to HEI violates WTO rule

Posted February. 01, 2001 11:33,   


Robert Zoellick, new United States Trade Representative (USTR) under the George W. Bush administration, said Tuesday that the USTR would continue putting pressure on the Seoul government not to violate the subsidy regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO), pointing out that the Korean government¡¯s relief step for Hyundai Electronics is a serious problem.

He answered a question from a lawmaker at the public hearing of the U.S. Senate¡¯s Finance Committee on the measures against the Seoul government¡¯s relief for Hyundai Electronics Industries (HEI). He answered that the Seoul government¡¯s financial support to HEI has caused a serious problem, violating the WTO rules on government subsidies.

On the issue concerning steel products, he also said that the U.S. steel industry has suffered from ¡°some unfair transactions¡± and that the USTR would seek proper countermeasures for the recovery of the American steel industry. The USTR would sternly cope with ¡°unfair trade practices¡± of major trading partners and seriously consider invoking the Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Law, an article to immediately curb imports, he added.

¡°Although we earlier expected such a move, but we are paying keen attention to the fact that the USTR pointed out Korea in particular,¡± a senior Korean government official said. ¡°Accordingly, we plan to place the focus of the private-government trade channels on the pending Korea-U.S. trade issues.¡±

Lee Byong-Ki eligius@donga.com