WTO backs Japan over steel duties

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    GENEVA- The World Trade Organization backed Japan in several claims in a ruling against South Korea’s 16-year-old anti-dumping duties on Japanese stainless steel bars.

    The three-person WTO panel recommended in conclusion that South Korea bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the WTO’s anti-dumping agreement.

    South Korea imposed duties of 15.39 percent in 2004 on the bars, which are used to make auto parts and machine tools, saying Japanese exporters’ dumping hurt its local industry.

    Tokyo in 2018 challenged a review carried out by Seoul into whether the measures should remain in place. It believes South Korea failed to show that removing the duties would lead to a resurgence of imports, adding that Japanese producers had also shifted to higher valueadded products.