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  • Public Release of the “2014 Report on Compliance by Major Trading Partners with Trade Agreements – WTO, FTA/EPA, and IIA” and “METI Priorities Based on the Report”

Public Release of the “2014 Report on Compliance by Major Trading Partners with Trade Agreements – WTO, FTA/EPA, and IIA” and “METI Priorities Based on the Report”

Today, METI published the “METI Priorities” based on the “2014 Report on Compliance by Major Trading Partners with Trade Agreements” adopted by the Industrial Structure Council’s Subcommittee on Unfair Trade Policies and Measures.

1. Background

(1) What is the “Report on Compliance by Major Trading Partners with Trade Agreements”?

Since 1992, the report has annually been published to point out trade policies/measures of major trading partners that may not be consistent with international rules such as WTO agreements, and to urge those partners to improve such trade policies/measures.

The 2014 edition is the 23rd in this series, and was approved at the Subcommittee on Unfair Trade Policies and Measures under the Trade Policy Committee of the Industrial Structure Council (Chair: Kazunori Ishiguro, Professor at the University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics).

(2) What are the “METI Priorities Based on the Report”?

METI has released its list of priority issues and future actions for them in the form of a report called the “METI Priorities Based on the Report” in conjunction with the Subcommittee’s publication of the Report.

2.Overview of the 2014 Report

(1) It reports 123 policies/measures (16 countries/territories are covered)

(2) The 2014 Report newly addressed the following 8 policies/measures.

(The 2013 Report: 10 newly addressed policies/measures).
China Violation of Tariff Concessions on Photographic Film in Rolls
Indonesia Local Content Requirement in the Retail Sector
Non-fulfilment of certain Intellectual Property related obligations under Japan-Indonesia EPA
EU The Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR)
South Korea Act on Registration and Evaluation of Chemical Substances
Russia Violation of Tariff Concessions on Refrigerator and other products
India Food Security Act
Ukraine Recycling Fee on Motor Vehicles

(3) As features of the 2014 Report, the following new chapters and columns are published.

  • New Chapter: General and Security Exceptions
  • New Chapter: Monitoring of Trade Policies and Measures
  • Column: Global Distribution of Counterfeit Goods and Problems in Legal Systems and Their Operation
  • Column: Resources/Energy and WTO Rules

3.METI Priorities Based on the 2014 Report

In this fiscal year, METI puts priority on dealing with the following 14 policies/measures based on the 2014 Report.

(1) Issues to be resolved through bilateral/multilateral consultations with possible use of the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism

China Correction of inappropriate regulation/implementation of anti-dumping (AD) investigations
Indonesia Elimination of export restrictions on mineral resources (i.e. nickel, etc.) and related local content requirements
Ensuring the enforcement of the New Trade Act, the New Industries Act and other related regulations (including franchise and retail regulations that provide local content requirements) in conformity with WTO agreements (newly added)
United States Improvement of sunset review practice and early termination of inappropriate long-standing AD duty orders on Japanese products
Russia Violation of Tariff Concessions mainly caused by mixed duties (combination of ad valorem duty and specific duty) (newly added)
Brazil Correction of discriminatory systems/implementation of the Industrial Product Tax (IPI)

(2)  Issues Already Referred to the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism

China Elimination of export restrictions on raw materials (i.e. rare earths, etc.)
Elimination of AD duty measures on high-performance stainless steel seamless tubes originated in Japan
Argentina Elimination of import restrictions on a wide range of items
Ukraine Revocation of safeguard measures against automobiles

(3)  Issues on which Japan Urges Prompt Implementation of the WTO Recommendations

United States Confirming the abolition of zeroing
Halt of the distribution of duty revenues collected through anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty measures on U.S. companies based upon the Byrd Amendment
Prompt implementation of the WTO recommendations on AD duty measures on hot-rolled steel products from Japan
Canada Abolition of local content requirements in Ontario’s feed-in tariff program for renewable energy

Updates from the 2013 Priorities

  • With regard to the issue “Correction of Discriminatory Systems/Implementation of Transport Vehicle Recycling Fee” for Russia, which was listed as one of the “Issues Already Referred to the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism” last year, Russia enforced a law to revise the discriminatory recycling fee system in January 2014. Therefore, Japan will continue monitoring the implementation thereof.
  • With regard to the issue “Elimination of Import Duties Imposed on IT Products Specified as Non-Dutiable by the WTO Information Technology Agreement” for the EU, which was listed as one of the “Issues on which Japan Urges Prompt Implementation of the WTO Recommendations” last year, the EU adopted the new regulations which eliminated illegal import duties on flat panel displays, including digital signage and other large computer monitors, on September 27, 2013. Thus, the EU has fully implemented the WTO recommendation.

(Reference) Process to Resolve Problems Caused by Trade Measures

Reference

Release Date

May 14, 2014

Division in Charge

  • Office for WTO Compliance and Dispute Settlement, Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau
  • International Legal Affairs Office, Trade Policy Bureau
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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