Tokyo weighing protest of U.S. steel sanctions

Complaints allege flooding of market

Trade

November 19, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

TOKYO -- Japan said it is considering further action against U.S. steel trade policy, after filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over U.S. sanctions on hot-rolled steel.

Tokyo filed a complaint yesterday to protest a June decision by the United States to impose duties as high as 67 percent on hot-rolled steel shipments of Kawasaki Steel Corp., 19.65 percent on shipments of Nippon Steel Corp. and 17.86 percent on shipments of NKK Corp.

The sanctions were imposed after U.S. steelmakers said their Japanese counterparts were flooding the U.S. market with steel priced too low.

"It's possible we will challenge other U.S. penalties on Japanese steel products at the WTO, if our investigation shows that U.S. claims are wrong and ours are right," Japanese International Trade and Industry Minister Takashi Fukaya said.

U.S. steelmakers, battered by a more than 30 percent surge in imports last year, have filed complaints against various steel products from Japan, Russia, Brazil and dozens of other countries.

The U.S. Commerce Department has called Japan the single largest offender of U.S. anti-dumping laws, and tension between the two countries has run so high that the Clinton administration called for regular talks to prevent future steel-import surges.

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