SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) — The World Trade Organization on Monday ruled partially in favor of Japan in a dispute with South Korea over Seoul’s anti-dumping tariffs on Japanese stainless steel bars, the trade ministry here said.
In a panel report, the WTO claimed that parts of South Korea’s decision-making process violated the global trade body’s anti-dumping agreement, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The ministry said it will appeal the decision, citing legalistic errors.
South Korea has been imposing anti-dumping tariffs on stainless steel bars imported from Japan since 2004.
Stainless steel bars are used in making auto parts, medical instruments, construction materials and other industrial goods.
In June 2018, Japan filed a complaint with the WTO, alleging that South Korea’s anti-dumping tariff of 15.39 percent violated the WTO anti-dumping agreement. It claimed that Japan’s “high-quality” stainless steel bars were not competition for South Korean produced bars.
The WTO ruled in South Korea’s favor for two of the five arguments, dismissing Japan’s claims that the two countries’ products are fundamentally different and that the anti-dumping tariffs were imposed to shift responsibility for damage to the industry caused by other factors.
But the WTO ruled in favor of Japan for the three other arguments, including charges related to whether Seoul considered the price difference between Japanese products and the same products made in South Korea.