GENEVA/SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea won a partial victory on Tuesday when a World Trade Organization panel ruled on its legal challenge to U.S. anti-dumping duties on steel pipe used in the oil industry, but Seoul lost most of the arguments it had made.
The WTO dispute panel faulted the U.S. Department of Commerce for the way it calculated the tariffs applied to the South Korean pipes, known as oil country tubular goods (OCTG).
Either side can appeal the ruling within 60 days, but otherwise the United States will be expected to lift its anti-dumping measures, which would increase South Korean exports, South Korea’s Trade Ministry said in a statement.
“We also expect the ruling to play a role in countering U.S. trade protectionism as the panel ruling found the U.S. anti-dumping actions were illegal,” it said.
Seoul went to the WTO three years ago after the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that OCTG imported from South Korea, India, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam would be subject to anti-dumping duties.
South Korea’s OCTG exports to the United States were worth $818 million in 2013, more than the combined imports of the other countries involved in the case.
Steel pipes are high-margin products used in the energy sector and had been a bright spot in the sluggish steel industry, at the time, benefiting from a boom in the U.S. shale oil and gas industry.
Reporting by Tom Miles and Jane Chung; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg