TOKYO (Kyodo) - Japan decided Thursday to continue to impose 15 percent punitive tariffs on U.S. ball bearings and steel products for another year to retaliate against the continued implementation of a U.S. antidumping trade law known as the Byrd amendment deemed illegal by the World Trade Organization.
The government will extend the current retaliatory measures until Aug. 31 next year. The decision will be formally endorsed at a Cabinet ministers' meeting later this month, a Finance Ministry official said.
Japan introduced the retaliatory steps in September 2005 for a one-year period and extended it for another year last August.
Tokyo levies 15 percent tariffs on 15 U.S. items, including aircraft parts and printers.
The controversial law, which was enacted in 2000, allows antidumping duties collected by the U.S. government to be redistributed among U.S. companies to cover their losses from cheap imports.
In January 2003, the WTO ruled the amendment infringed on its rules and called on the United States to repeal it.
The United States decided to repeal the Byrd amendment in February 2006, but the law will remain in force until Oct. 1, during the transition period.
In addition, even after the end of the transition period, the redistribution of antidumping duties to U.S. local manufacturers may continue for a while, the official said.
Tokyo will plan to swiftly terminate the retaliatory measures after the United States repeals the Byrd amendment in accordance with the advisory of the WTO, he said.
Other than Japan, the European Union also levies punitive tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation over the antidumping law.