S. Korean products being hit by trade restrictions abroad: report

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean products are being hit by a growing number of restrictions abroad, as countries take more active steps to protect their industries, a report by a state-run trade promotion agency showed Wednesday.

According to the findings by Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), nine countries took new actions to restrict imports of 18 locally made products in the first half of 2014.

Of these, 10 were safeguard measures that primarily aim to protect companies from outside competition.

Seven anti-dumping investigations have been started after foreign companies alleged South Korean businesses were unfairly selling products at a discount, with one involving the levying of countervailing duties.

The latest report showed most of the recent actions were taken by developing countries. There were six cases in India, as well as three each in Indonesia and Brazil.

Among industrialized nations, the United States and Australia started anti-dumping probes in the six-month period, targeting steel nails and paper used to make newspapers.

"Slower-than-expected growth in developing countries may be influencing trade restrictive measures," KOTRA speculated. It pointed out that more and more South Korean exports started running into trouble last year, and that things may get worse for the time being.

Of the items penalized or under investigation, seven were chemical-related goods, followed by six steel and three paper products.

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