China-Japan relations: Tokyo complains to WTO over import taxes on its stainless steel imports

·2-min read

Japan has requested consolations with China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over anti-dumping duties that have been placed on its stainless steel products since July 2019, the Geneva-based body confirmed on Tuesday.

The request, which was circulated to WTO members on Tuesday after having been submitted on Friday, claims the measures imposed on steel billets, hot-rolled coils and hot-rolled plates appear to be inconsistent with various provisions under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and the Anti-Dumping Agreement.

Japan’s government confirmed on Friday that it had complained to the WTO over China’s anti-dumping tax for stainless steel products.

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The move comes after Japan has repeatedly asked China to remove the measure through bilateral talks, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a statement on its website last week.

Japan looks forward to receiving China’s reply to the present request in due course. Japan is ready to consider with China mutually convenient dates and venue for consultations

Japan communication to WTO

“China’s measures also appear to nullify or impair the benefits accruing to Japan directly or indirectly under the cited agreements,” said Japan’s communication to the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO dated Friday.

“Japan reserves the right to address further factual claims and legal issues under other provisions of the WTO Agreement regarding the above matters during the course of the consultations.

“Japan looks forward to receiving China’s reply to the present request in due course. Japan is ready to consider with China mutually convenient dates and venue for consultations.”

In December, the WTO confirmed a complaint from Australia over China’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties imposed on its barley exports.

On Wednesday, Australian trade minister Dan Tehan said his government was also in the process of bolstering its legal arguments before potentially asking the WTO to resolve its wine-tariff trade dispute with China.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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