Trade conflict looms over FTC’s move to ‘restrain’ Coupang founder

Trade conflict looms over FTC’s move to ‘restrain’ Coupang founder

Coupang founder Bom Kim / Korea Times file

By Lee Kyung-min


According to market observers, South Korean antitrust regulators have appointed Kim Bom Suk, the founder of South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang, as the head of a large company, which is in full swing between South Korea and the United States. Trade disputes may occur. .. Koreans with US citizenship are widely known as Bomb Kim.

This situation is concerned about the already shrinking foreign investment in South Korea, which is subject to seemingly arbitrary application and regulation based on the interpretation of the law, which surpasses the principles of the free market.

Since 1986, there have been calls for the abolition of the old-language designation that limits the power and influence of South Korea’s major conglomerates, adding that South Korea is the only country whose business operations are regulated by the size of its assets.

According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) law, corporate organizations with total assets of more than 5 trillion won (US $ 3.8 billion) each April are designated as large conglomerates. Companies called large conglomerates are prohibited from mutual investment and have a limited investment limit.

Strengthening scrutiny FTC has asked Kim and key executives of the company’s overseas subsidiary listed on the New York Stock Exchange to disclose shares that are defined as “close relatives” by Korean law. We are seeking strict scrutiny.

If you intentionally omit or falsify important data, you will be punished with imprisonment for up to 2 years or a fine of up to 150 million won.

According to the United States, top trade authorities, including Under Secretary of International Trade Marisa Lago, violate the World Trade Organization’s most-favored-nation treatment, which states that member states should treat all trading partners equally.

This means that no country should receive special treatment for goods or services from a particular trading partner. Largo reportedly demanded that the issue be placed on the agenda at a working-level meeting around the Korea-US agreement.

This issue could escalate to the Investor-State Dispute Resolution (ISDS) process, which the US Trade Representative (USTR) opposed.

The United States can claim that Kim is being treated at a disadvantage compared to S oil. FTC has appointed the Korean unit of the refinery to head the company. Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco owns a 63.4% stake in S-Oil, and 90% of Aramco’s stake is owned by the Saudi royal family.

Approximately a month after South Korean policy coordinating officials visited the United States in April, the United States raised a second issue in May, and it is not yet known whether the FTC will tackle this issue.
Antitrust authorities will announce the designation next week.


Credit/Source : KoreaTimes

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