METI to target protectionism

Kyodo

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry intends to address protectionist behavior in countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Brazil over automobiles and other issues.

METI, which released its annual report on unfair trade practices Monday, has urged those nations to take corrective actions and may consider going to the World Trade Organization if the situation doesn’t improve, officials said.

Of 146 unfair practices specified in its 2013 report, METI selected 14 cases where it will devote most of its resources, including those involving Russia, Ukraine and Brazil.

According to the ministry, Russia exempts domestic cars from a disposal tax, while Ukraine plans to invoke safeguard measures on cars even though it is unclear whether auto imports have increased. Brazil allows a tax cut for cars in return for investment in its country.