Japan urged China to correct trade practices it believes are unfair, including higher tariffs on photo film and auto parts, in an annual report released Monday.
The 2005 Report on the WTO Inconsistency of Trade Policies by Major Trading Partners, which was adopted at a meeting of a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry panel, notes 27 cases of Chinese trade policies that Japan deems unfair, including enforcement of antidumping measures.
Specifically, the report accuses China of applying tariff rules on photo film that are different from those it pledged to introduce under the World Trade Organization. It likewise criticizes China for imposing tariffs on auto parts imports as high as those applied on finished cars.
Japan also called on China to strengthen efforts to crack down on illegally copied products.
The report points out 109 cases of unfair trade practices, of which 34 belonged to the United States, 27 to China, 11 to the European Union and 21 to five members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
A METI official said that while U.S. cases are mostly long-standing trade practices deemed unfair by Japan, Chinese cases are new and probably will not be resolved in the near future.
The number of problematic Chinese trade practices referred to in the annual report has doubled since 2002, when there were 13 cases involving China. The figure was smaller than the 40 unfair trade practices in the United States, 14 in the EU and 16 in the ASEAN countries reported by Japan in 2002, according to the ministry.
Following the release of the 2004 report, Japan singled out 16 unfair trade practices, including seven by China, that should be addressed as priority issues. Over the past year, six of the 16 were corrected, but Japan continued to designate the remaining 10 as priority cases and added three new ones to the list.
Among the cases on the priority list is a U.S. law known as the Byrd Amendment, which allows the U.S. government to distribute proceeds from antidumping and countervailing duties to American companies allegedly hit by foreign imports. The U.S. antidumping measures on Japan-made hot-rolled steel were also listed.
The trade practices Japan singled out as especially troublesome include regulations by the European Union on chemicals and other hazardous materials as well as Indonesia’s application of higher tariffs on digital cameras.
Japan will send the report to the countries it believes have been engaged in unfair trade practices and will continue to press them to improve their trade policies, the METI official said.
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