WTO's General Council set to discuss S.Korea-Japan trade dispute this week
Updated: 2019-07-22 13:25:37 KST
Citing issues over South Korea's export controls, Japan announced this month that it was curbing exports of hi-tech materials to South Korea for the production of semiconductor and display panels.
Tokyo also revealed plans to remove Seoul from a whitelist of 27 countries that receive preferential trade treatment with Japan.
Calling it nothing more than economic retaliation for a separate historical issue, Seoul is pressuring the international community to press Tokyo to withdraw its export restrictions when the WTO's General Council holds a meeting on the two countries' trade dispute on Tuesday and Wednesday at Seoul's request.
While the general council is the WTO's highest decision-making body in Geneva, it's not the body to settle trade disputes.
However, Seoul is looking to inform other members of Tokyo's unfair measures before taking the issue to the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body.
In its complaint, Seoul is likely to refer to articles of the WTO's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
Article 1 of the agreement states that a country must offer the same terms to the whole world, and not just one country, while Article 11 prohibits quantitative restrictions on the import or export of any products among member nations.
Leading the delegations at the WTO are South Korea's Ambassador to Geneva Paik Ji-ah, and Shingo Yamagami,.. the director-general of Tokyo's Foreign Ministry's economic affairs bureau.
Along with the WTO meeting, South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy plans to deliver an opinion to the Japanese government this week to press it to withdraw its export curbs.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.