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WTO sets up panel for Japan and South Korea dispute over steel bar duties

Staff Writer | October 30, 2018
The World Trade Organization set up a panel to settle a dispute between Japan and South Korea over antidumping duties Seoul has levied on imported stainless steel bars for about 14 years, the Japanese government said.
Asia   A three-member panel will spend about a year
The panel was established at the request of Japan after the countries failed to resolve the dispute through bilateral consultations in August.

At issue is South Korea's placing of a 15.39 percent tariff on Japanese stainless steel bars in order to protect its domestic industry. The levy has been extended twice since 2004, bringing the total imposition to about 4.9 billion yen ($44 million) by the end of June last year.

Following the WTO decision on Monday, a three-member panel will spend about a year looking into the case and compiling a report, according to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Japan has argued that maintaining the tariff for an extended period is against WTO rules, while questioning the rationale behind South Korea's extensions.

Steel bars are used to make bolts, nuts and valves for machinery and cars.