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Japan tells WTO it will continue sanctions on US products

Japan tells WTO it will continue sanctions on US products

Japan told the World Trade Organization on Friday that it would extend for another year up to US$48.2 million in annual sanctions against U.S. products because Washington continues to distribute anti-dumping funds to its companies in violation of international commerce rules.
Japanese trade negotiator Koji Saito said the penalty would go into effect Saturday and extend until Aug. 31, 2008, "to induce full compliance by the United States" with WTO rules.
The country has been sanctioning U.S. goods since 2005 after winning a WTO complaint over payments to U.S. industries under a law known as the Byrd amendment, named for Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, who introduced the measure.
The European Union and Canada have also targeted U.S. products because of the 2000 law, which has enabled American producers of metals, food and other household items to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in levies collected from foreign rivals.
It was first ruled illegal by the WTO in 2002 and repealed by the U.S. two years ago, but the Senate, in a compromise with companies, has allowed for the distribution of funds to continue.
Japan told the dispute body that the law was "repealed only in form."
"In effect it will be operational 'for an undetermined period,'" it said. "Japan calls on the United States to make further efforts to terminate the illegal distribution."
Washington said it has already complied with WTO recommendations and was "perplexed" at Japan's decision to extend the sanctions.
"Japan made clear that its purpose in suspending concessions was to 'induce compliance,' a statement we heard repeated again today," said U.S. trade lawyer Juan Millan. "Now that the United States has taken all steps necessary to comply with the rulings and recommendations of this body, we fail to see how the continued suspension of concessions will further that purpose."
In May, the EU raised retaliatory sanctions against the U.S. because of the payments, extending a 15 percent surcharge to 32 new categories of American exports such as paper products, plastics, textiles, pens, footwear and mobile homes. The measures brought the total level of EU retaliation to US$81.2 million (euro59.9 million).
For Europeans, the sanctions have caused higher prices on American clothing, textiles, machinery, paper products and sweet corn, hurting sales for many U.S.-based companies.


Updated : 2020-12-03 12:58 GMT+08:00