• Kyodo News


A World Trade Organization panel said Monday it has backed Japan, the United States and Taiwan in their bid to overturn the European Union’s tariffs on liquid crystal displays for computers and other information technology products.

The WTO’s dispute settlement panel ruled in a report that the EU tariffs on the products, which include multifunction printers and TV set-top boxes, violate the global trade organization’s Information Technology Agreement.

The European Union may appeal the decision.

The agreement in principle does away with import tariffs on IT products, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

In its first-ever complaint filed with the WTO against the European Union, Japan claimed that the European economic and political unit has arbitrarily designated the three products not as IT equipment free of import tariffs but as products subject to high tariffs.

For example, the European Union has imposed a 6 percent tariff on multifunction printers as a copier outside the agreement and a 14 percent duty on LCDs as a home appliance on the grounds they can reproduce DVD programs, a METI official said.

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