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Rising neo-protectionism sparks discussions on shifting trade remedies 2023-11-20

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE)’s Korea Trade Commission held a winter academic seminar with participants from academia, law firms, and accounting firms and other sectors on November 17 at the Seoul National University Graduate School of International Studies to analyze issues of trade remedies in the era of neo-protectionism, identify policy implications and prepare strategic responses.

The seminar proceeded under the theme of "Changes in the Trade Remedies in response to Rising Neo-protectionism," examining features of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) and changes in trade remedies in "key countries" that are prioritizing their own interests amid the weakening multilateral trading system of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

On the topic of neo-protectionism, the speakers presented and discussed the following issues: the U.S. Biden administration's trade policy and neo-protectionism; EU's Trade Defense Instruments (TDI) modernization and neo-protectionism; and the U.S.’ and EU’s anti-dumping circumvention measures and their implications.

In particular, the session on the U.S.’ and EU's anti-dumping circumvention systems and their implications covered circumvention strategies like relocating manufacturing bases overseas. This was examined in the context of the U.S.’ and EU’s efforts to address these challenges within the reorganization of the global value chain. The session also explored the need for implementing similar strategies in Korea.

KTC’s Standing Commissioner Cheon Young-gil said "we will actively take into account the field reviews and expert opinions to ensure that changing trends in the current commercial environment, such as neo-protectionism, could be incorporated in trade remedies in a timely manner.”