European Shipbuilders want Decision on Korea Now

Friday, April 26, 2002
In a long running battle to level the theoretical playing field, European shipbuilders want the European Commission to stop delaying its response to what they see as unfair competition from shipyards in South Korea, according to a Reuters report. European shipbuilders, which have steadily seen the balance of its shipbuilding activities flow to the massive shipbuilding machines in Japan, South Korea and now China, have apparently reached their limit on seemingly endless negotiations. The allegations that shipyards in South Korea undercut the competiion with illegal subsidies is not a new revelation, but nonetheless one that the South Korean yards to this day steadfastly deny. The Committee of EU Shipbuilders Associations said the Commission, the EU's executive, had again failed to take a decision on how to counter alleged South Korean aid to help its constructors undercut the competition. State subsidies for shipyards were phased out in the EU last year, but complaints from shipbuilders that Korea was funding its constructors to undercut competition and dominate the world market have led EU lawmakers to rethink the decision. The Commission has reiterated it will not take the case to the WTO while there is no accord on defensive subsidies for European makers of container ships and chemicals and oil product carriers, the sectors it believes are hardest hit by Korean competition.

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