The European Union may well join Japan’s campaign against state aid being dished out by Seoul to Korean shipbuilders. Japan filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) earlier this month after months of complaining about how its neighbour is propping up struggling shipbuilders with hundreds of millions of dollars of government cash.
“The EU notes that the request for consultations relates to a number of alleged export and local content subsidies provided by Korea directly, or through public or private institutions, to Korean shipbuilders or their customers,” the EU said in a statement delivered to the WTO over the weekend.
“The EU is a major global producer and exporter of both ships and maritime equipment, such as ship engines and navigational equipment,” the EU added.
“The measures referred to in the consultation request may have a substantial impact on the price of ships, including ship engines and other maritime equipment, and affect trade flows in these products,” it said.
In October 2002, the EU sued South Korea over a similar matter.