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Friday, 15 March, 2002, 06:29 GMT
Japan threatens steel counter tariffs
steel wars
Japan threatens to complain to the WTO
Japanese trade officials have told the US that it may introduce tariffs of its own to counter the US decision to impose tariffs of up to 30% on steel imports, officials said.

At a meeting in Washington, the delegation also said Japan is prepared to file a complaint with the World Trade Organisation on Wednesday when the measure takes effect.

The threats raise the growing fear of a global trade war that would be damaging to everyone, economists said.

The move by the US sets out to protect the struggling US steel industry from competition from abroad.

But Japan's steel industry has problems of its own.

Just like their US counterparts, Japan's steelmakers are suffering due to the massive global overcapacity.

Of Japan's six biggest steelmakers, four have admitted to growing losses for the current year.

Angry responses

The US move has angered several of its other trading partners too, including the European Union which has already filed a WTO complaint.

The EU has also applied for permission from the WTO to retaliate with tariffs of its own.

Other steel producing countries, including South Africa and Australia, have negotiated broad exemptions from the US tariffs.

Chinese, South Korean, Russian and Ukrainian steel producers are expected to be hard hit by the US tariffs.

See also:

12 Mar 02 | Business
US tariffs cloud steel talks
05 Mar 02 | Business
Q&A: World steel dispute
11 Mar 02 | Business
Australia cuts deal in steel row
08 Mar 02 | Business
US finance chief backs steel moves
07 Mar 02 | Business
EU hits back against US steel duties
06 Mar 02 | Business
South Africa cheers US steel tariffs
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