May 17 (Renewables Now) - South Korea has requested World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute consultations with the US regarding the safeguard duties the latter imposed on imports of crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic (PV) products.
In the document, circulated to WTO members on Thursday, the Republic of Korea says the measures taken by the US to protect its domestic solar industry are inconsistent with different provisions under the WTO's Agreement on Safeguards and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994.
According to South Korea, the US failed to properly make a determination that the subject imports increased "in such quantities and under such conditions" to cause serious injury to the domestic solar industry. It did not properly define the domestic industry as it failed to limit the scope to only those companies producing the "like or directly competitive products" to the subject imports. The US also did not properly conduct a non-attribution analysis to separate and distinguish the effects of "other factors" causing or threatening to cause injury, the document says.
South Korea also says the US did not provide the interested parties with sufficient opportunities to participate in the investigation and it failed to provide Korea with an adequate opportunity to commence prior consultations.
The full list of provisions with which the US failed to comply when deciding to impose safeguard tariffs, according to South Korea, is available here.
The request for consultations initiates a dispute in the WTO. Consultations are intended to allow the parties to discuss the matter and find a satisfactory solution. If after 60 days consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, South Korea may request adjudication by a panel.