Japan Wants More Exemptions From U.S. Steel Tariffs

By Agence France-Presse Japan said Aug. 13 it expects further exemptions from U.S. steel tariffs after Washington doubled the amount of Japanese imports it will exempt from the controversial new levies. "They have until Aug. 31 to announce exemptions and there are still some we have requested remaining, so we are looking forward to further announcements," said foreign ministry official Ichiro Sonae. Washington's Aug. 12 announcement covering four types of Japanese steel products doubled to 500,000 tons the quantity of Japanese product exempt from U.S. tariffs imposed in March. Japan had originally said the tariffs would affect some 1.4 million tons of Japanese steel, worth US$659 million. The Aug. 12 announcement followed similar announcements in June on exemptions for Japanese steel. Japan has warned it would impose 100% tariffs worth $4.88 million a year on certain U.S. steel products unless Washington dropped its new tariffs on Japanese steel imports. In March, U.S. President George W. Bush announced he was applying tariffs of up to 30% on most steel imports to protect the ailing U.S. steel industry, prompting Tokyo, the European Union and other countries to lodge complaints with the World Trade Organization. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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