TOKYO -- Japan will extend for another year 15-percent tariffs on 15 items imported from the United States, including ball bearings and steel products.
The move comes in retaliation against the continued implementation of the U.S. antidumping law known as the Byrd Amendment.
The decision to extend the retaliatory tariffs until Aug. 31, 2008 is to be formally endorsed by the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this month, according to the Finance Ministry.
It will be the second one-year extension of the retaliatory tariffs since they were first imposed on Sept. 1, 2005. The European Union and Canada also impose similar sanctions.
The Byrd amendment, named after its sponsor, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W. Va., and enacted in 2000, allows antidumping duties to be redistributed among U.S. firms to cover their losses from cheap imports.
In January, 2003, the World Trade Organization ruled that Byrd was in violation of international rules and ordered Washington to repeal it. Congress decided to repeal the amendment in February, 2006 but the law will remain in force until Oct. 1 of this year during the transition period.
Because of the time needed to fix the amount of tax revenues, distribution of antidumping duties among U.S. firms is expected to actually continue for another few years.