Japan has decided to extend, for another year, punitive tariffs on tapered roller bearings imported from the U.S. in retaliation against a U.S. anti-dumping trade law known as the Byrd amendment.
The decision to extend the retaliatory tariffs on Sept. 1 until Aug. 31 next year will be formally endorsed at a Cabinet meeting soon, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Monday.
Japan first imposed retaliatory tariffs on 15 items, including steel products, on Sept. 1, 2005, in response to the Byrd Amendment. The European Union, Canada and Mexico also implemented similar countermeasures against the U.S.
The upcoming one-year extension of the Japanese retaliatory tariffs will be the seventh, although the number of items subject to the punitive tariffs has significantly declined in the past seven years.
The controversial Byrd amendment, enacted in 2000, is legislation allowing anti-dumping duties collected by the U.S. administration from foreign companies to be distributed among U.S. firms to cover their losses from cheap imports.
In January 2003, the World Trade Organization, the Geneva-based watchdog on international commerce, ruled that the Byrd amendment was in violation of international rules and ordered the U.S. to repeal it.
The Japanese government has decided to extend the punitive tariffs for another year again because the U.S. “continues to perform distribution that was found to be illegal,” METI said in a statement.
At present, additional tariffs are levied on ball bearings and tapered roller bearings imported from the U.S. But from Sept. 1, additional tariffs on ball bearings will be abolished, while those on tapered roller bearings will be raised to 4.0 percent from the current 1.7 percent.
The Japanese government has decided to make those changes after taking into account the fact that the funds distributed in the last year have been reduced, METI said.
In February 2006, the U.S. enacted a law that repealed the Byrd amendment. “However, the law contains transitional provisions under which all duties on entries of goods filed before October 1, 2007 shall be subject to the distribution under the Byrd amendment. Thus illegal distribution is expected to continue beyond this year,” METI said.