Japan To Extend Anti-Dumping Steps Against U.S.

The Japanese government has decided to extend for another year anti-dumping tariffs for 15 American products, reports said Aug. 3. Japan will maintain 15% punitive tariffs on U.S. ball bearings and steel products until August 31, 2007 in retaliation against the continued implementation of a controversial U.S. anti-dumping trade law known as the Byrd Amendment, Kyodo News said.

The measures, which originally started last year, will become effective September 1 after the cabinet gives its approval, Jiji Press said. The punitive tariffs for the coming year from September can amount to as much as 5.9 billion yen (US$51 million), Jiji said.

The World Trade Organization has ruled as illegal the Byrd Amendment because it distributed funds to U.S. firms affected by unfair trade. The law enacted in 2000 redistributes U.S. levies on dumping to the U.S. companies that complained. Critics say this puts exporters to the U.S. at a disadvantage.

The amendment has provoked ire from major trading partners, leading to retaliatory sanctions from Japan, the EU and Canada.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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