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The Cabinet OK’d a plan Tuesday to continue punitive tariffs on U.S. ball bearings for another year through Aug. 31, 2011, in retaliation for U.S. action to maintain an antidumping trade law ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization.

Tokyo will extend the current measures, which expire this Aug. 31, in reaction to the U.S. government practice of distributing its antidumping duties among U.S. manufacturers to cover their losses from cheap imports.

But it plans to reduce the tariff to 4.1 percent from 9.6 percent, in accordance with a drop in the amount of antidumping duties given out to U.S. manufacturers.

The U.S. practice is based on the Byrd amendment and is still in place even though Washington repealed it in February 2006, following a WTO ruling in January 2003 that the amendment violated global trade rules.

Japan first imposed retaliatory tariffs in September 2005 for one year and has extended the measures every year.

The European Union levies similar punitive tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation to the antidumping law.

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