Gulf states decide not to impose safeguard measures on steel imports

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has decided against imposing safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products, South Korea’s trade ministry said, a move expected to ease concerns for South Korean exporters.

The ministry said the ministerial committee of the GCC — an economic union of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — recently decided not to approve its permanent committee’s proposal for safeguard measures. The GCC published its decision on its official gazette last Thursday and later informed the South Korean government.

In May, the GCC’s permanent committee told the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its plans to impose definitive safeguard duties for three years on various steel products — 16 percent of duty in the first year, followed by 15.2 percent in the second year and 14.44 percent in the third year.

South Korea had expressed its concerns about such imposition through bilateral and multilateral meetings with GCC member states. The government had also sent multiple letters asking some of South Korea’s key export products be exempt from duties.

South Korea had also claimed that the GCC’s push for duties ran counter to WTO agreements on safeguard measures.

“This decision will clear up uncertainties about our steel exports to the Middle East,” a trade ministry official said. “It reduces concerns about exports of zinc products, including galvanized steel sheets, and should have a positive impact on our steel industry.


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Arab Iron and Steel Union ( AISU ) was established in Algeria in 1971 as the first Arab union of Arab countries to be established under the umbrella of the Council of Economic Unity in the League of Arab States.

AISU is a non-governmental organization of a private nature, not of a political or commercial nature.

AISU works in the field of preparing studies, organizing courses and holding periodic conferences for the prosperity of the Arab iron and steel industry. The union includes a wide range of companies with multiple activities related to the iron and steel industry.

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