South Korea has decided to keep anti-dumping tariffs on Japanese stainless steel bars for another three years despite a ruling by the World Trade Organization that recommended Seoul to abolish the tariff.
According to multiple sources from the government on Thursday, the Ministry of Economy and Finance has issued an administrative act notice to levy from 3.51 percent to 15.39 percent anti-dumping duties on Japan-made steel bars for three years from June.
Stainless steel bars are used in auto components, construction equipment, industrial facilities and household goods.
Korea began imposing tariff on Japanese stainless steel bars in July 2004 upon request from five local steel manufacturers. It extended the measure several times, which led Tokyo to file a complaint with the WTO in June 2018. The Korea Trade Commission requested the Ministry of Economy and Finance to extend the measure before it ends in June in November last year, shortly before the WTO gave a preliminary ruling deeming the measure unfair.
The Korean government which has appealed maintains grounds for the penalty duties despite calls from Tokyo.
By Oh Chan-jong and Lee Eun-joo
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