Last week, South Korea requested consultations with the United States at the WTO, launching a significant dispute that challenges both individual investigations and administrative reviews conducted by the Commerce Department, as well as broader aspects of U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty law. Korea’s broader “as such” challenge targets provisions of U.S. law, including the 2015 “Leveling the Playing Field Act,” that authorize the Commerce Department to rely on adverse facts available in calculating a dumping margin for foreign producers or exporters that do not cooperate during a proceeding. Korea claims that U.S. law unfairly permits the Commerce Department to disregard information submitted during a proceeding and to instead apply an inappropriately high dumping margin.
Korea also challenges specific Commerce Department’s findings in multiple AD/CVD investigations, including on large power transformers, cold-rolled steel flat products, hot-rolled steel flat products, and corrosion-resistant steel products (“CORE”). WTO rules provide 60 days for the United States and Korea to discuss settlement of the dispute before Korea may file a more formal complaint to continue the dispute.