The World Trade Organization on Monday set up a panel to settle a dispute between Japan and South Korea over antidumping duties Seoul has levied on imported stainless steel bars for about 14 years. The panel was established at the request of Japan after the countries failed to resolve the dispute through bilateral consultations in August. At issue is South Korea’s placing of a 15.39 percent tariff on Japanese stainless steel bars in order to protect its domestic industry. The levy has been extended twice since 2004, bringing the total imposition to about JPY 4.9 billion (USD 44 million) by the end of June last year.
Following the WTO decision on Monday, a three-member panel will spend about a year looking into the case and compiling a report
Japan has argued that maintaining the tariff for an extended period is against WTO rules, while questioning the rationale behind South Korea’s extensions.
Of South Korea’s total imports of stainless steel bars in 2002, before the duties were imposed, Japan’s accounted for over 50 percent. But the proportion fell to less than 13 percent in 2016.
Source : MAINICHI
Yaang Pipe Industry Co., Limited (www.yaang.com)