South Korea takes dispute on U.S. tariffs on washing machines, solar panels to WTO

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Monday that it has taken a dispute to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the United States for imposing tariffs on washing machines and solar panels as the measure was deemed to be in violation of the WTO agreement.

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement that it has delivered its request for bilateral consultation to the U.S. side to start a dispute settlement process.

The move is a set of measures that the South Korean government had taken after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped a steep tariff on imported washing machines and solar panels in February to protect American manufacturers.

In April, South Korea said it notified its plan to suspend tariff concessions on imported U.S. goods worth $480 million following U.S. tariff measures against South Korean imports.

The ministry said it will respond to unfair import restrictions taken by the country’s major trading partners against South Korean companies.

Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Kim Coghill