Japan slaps tariffs on US steel imports

Tokyo, August 12:

Japan’s Cabinet formally approved on Friday a decision to impose 15 per cent retaliatory tariffs on US steel imports, the government said. The trade ministry announced earlier this month that US steel products, including ball bearings and airplane parts, would face the levies starting September 1 in retaliation for American steel industry protection measures.

The measure was formally approved in a Cabinet meeting on Friday morning, the Cabinet Office said. The tariffs, which could rise as high as $51 million, will be the first time Japan takes such retaliatory action against a trade partner. Tokyo made the move in response to Washington’s failure to repeal duties imposed on Japanese steel products under the so-called Byrd amendment. Washington began in 1999 to impose penalty tariffs on steel products from Japan, Brazil and other countries on allegations those countries were selling their products at unfairly low prices.