As more countries strengthen their import
restrictions on Korean products, the Ministry of Commerce,
Industry and Energy (MOCIE) has drawn up an action against
foreign import restrictions that is line with reaching the
ministry's target of a $12 billion trade surplus for 2000.
MOCIE believes that restrictions on Korean
product will increase due to factors such as the delay in the
latest round of WTO talks, the expanded trade deficit, the
forthcoming US presidential elections and the increasing
protectionism of Asian and Latin American countries as they
recover from the economic crisis.
Meeting the challenge against increased
protectionism will be handled by implementing proactive measure.
MOCIE will begin monitoring import trends by
quaters and products. If a product is identified as exceeding its
previous year's export by 50%, MOCIE will advise the affected
company or the organization. MOCIE will thereby assist the
company in establishing an Early Warning System to adapt
When a product is identified as a potential
target of import restrictions, MOCIE will dispatch a joint
mission, along with the affected parties, to the appropriate
foreign government agencies. The mission will make presentations
to the relative country in an effort to raise public awareness of
unreasonable and unfair import restrictions.
In addition to the main areas being
monitored for possible import restriction -- such as
semi-conductors, shipbuilding and steel -- the existing
organization between the relative country and Korea that monitors
exports by industry will be expanded and strengthened.
In regard to items that are already being
contested in courts, MOCIE intends to increase its involvement in
alliance with the affected industries. This will include actions
such as appealing to the WTO.
MOCIE intends to make the most of the
existing cooperative channels from both sides such as the
Industrial Cooperation Committee (9 units) and Economy
Cooperation Committee (57 units), both of which are under the
aegis of MOCIE.
This year MOCIE will make a concentrated
effort to help Small and Medium sized Enterprises(SMEs) cope with
MOCIE's official web-page(http://www.mocie.go.kr)
has information on import restraints as they pertain to SMEs.
* The site includes information on the
import restraint systems of major countries, case studies of
successful appeals and countermeasures and a response form
pertaining to imports restraints.
MOCIE will also develop a back-up plan for
To establish a better environment for SMEs
and anticipate problem areas, MOCIE will consolidate the
countermeasure systems of the private sector and government.
With the assistance of the Korea International
Trade Association(KITA), MOCIE will increase the scope of the existing
Import Restraints Countermeasures Planning Team. The team, which
previously met on a quarterly basis, will now meet monthly. MOCIE will
also function as a working arm of the team and present systemic
countermeasures against imports restraints.
In accordance with that aim, MOCIE held the first
meeting of the team was held on the January 27. Topics under discussion
included, strengthening the plan against imports restraints in 2000,
trends and countermeasures against import restrictions, and an action
plan for February.
Seventeen people participated, 8 of whom were
trade officials from relevant organizations such as KITA, the Korea
Trade-Investment Promotion Association (KOTRA) and Korea Steel
Association (KOSA). Nine participants were officials in charge of