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Press Release

Supplementary Notification to the WTO
of the Re-Balancing Measures against the US Steel Safeguard

November 26, 2003
Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry

Since the U.S. has not yet terminated the steel safeguard measures which are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement, our country made supplementary notification to the WTO concerning the list of items and additional tariff rates. We fully expect the U.S. to immediately terminate the illegal measures.

On May 17, 2002, based on the WTO Safeguard Agreement Article 8, our country notified the WTO Council for Trade in Goods of the right to suspend concessions or other obligations under the WTO agreement (hereafter called "the re-balancing measures"), which is acknowledged as a right of the affected exporting countries.

Since then, on November 10, 2003, the WTO Appellate Body officially circulated its final report where it agreed with the arguments of our country and the other complaining parties regarding the US steel safeguard measures, finding these measures to be inconsistent with the WTO Agreement. (The report will be finalized by being adopted at a meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body scheduled no later than December 10, 2003.)

With the report circulated on November 10, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry released a statement that we would fully expect the U.S. to immediately terminate the safeguard measures, and that we would notify the WTO of the re-balancing measures by the end of the month, should the U.S. not terminate the safeguard measures.

Since the U.S. has not yet terminated the illegal measures, our country made supplementary notification to the WTO concerning the list of items and additional tariff rates. The items are as follows.

We fully expect the U.S. to immediately terminate the illegal measures.

Rebalancing List of Japan(PDF:9kb)

Major content of the notification

Amount
Approx. $85.22 million (\10.7 billion)
(Imports from the U.S. equivalent to $458.95 million (\57.6 billion) )

Items
Coal, Petroleum, Plastics(Sheet, Packing of Goods), Handbags, Traveling Bags, Leather Clothing T-shirts, Blouses, Polo Shirts, Trousers, Skirts, Jackets, Ties, Ski Jackets, Toilet Linen, Kitchen Linen, Other Made Up Articles, Gold, Steel, Steel Products, Moulds For Rubber Or Plastics, Vacuum, Television, Sunglasses, Mechanotherapy Appliances, Mattress Supports, Prefabricated Building, Toys and Models of Plastics (See the attached list for details.)

Additional tariff rates
Intermediate goods 30%, consumption goods 5% (See the attached list for details.)

Note
The adopted exchange rate is $1 = \125.61 (The average rates during the year of 2002 posted by the Custom Office.)

Reference 1: The Content of the notification on May 17, 2002
- Amount: approx. $123.43 million (\14.9 billion)
- Items: undecided
- Additional tariff rates: undecided
- Date to exercise: On the earlier date of March 20, 2005, or five days after the day when the U.S steel safeguard measures are confirmed to be inconsistent with the WTO Agreement.

Reference 2: The Council on Customs, Tariff, Foreign Exchange and Other Transactions.
The re-balancing measures were discussed and approved by the Council which was held today from 2:30pm at the Ministry of Finance. The supplementary notification was made based on the result of the Council.

Contact:
Tatsuo Sato, Hirokazu Kobayashi,
Yoshikage Shiote
Multilateral Trade System Dept. METI
Tel: +81-3-3580-6596

 
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