South Korea to lodge WTO complaint over Japan's export curbs

WTO rules against S. Korea antidumping duties on Japan valves

WTO rules against S. Korea antidumping duties on Japan valves

Seoul says Japan violated worldwide trade rules when it tightened controls on shipments of three types of materials.

The move comes just hours after WTO ruled for a second time that South Korea's anti-dumping duties on Japanese valves violate worldwide trade rules, according to a decision published on the WTO website.

Early in July, Japan imposed tighter controls on exports of three materials to South Korea used to make smartphone chips or displays following a diplomatic dispute over compensation for forced labourers during Japan's occupation of Korea during World War II.

South Korea is lodging a complaint to the WTO regarding Japan's trade restrictions. accusing Tokyo of being "politically motivated".

Japan insists that all compensation matters were settled when the two countries normalized relations under a 1965 treaty and that the South Korean court rulings go against global law. Yoo said Japan approved the shipments of the materials only three times since the measures took effect on July 4.

And added that the export curbs are only directly targeted at Seoul which shows that they are a discriminative action.

Japan asked the WTO to settle the issue in March 2016 after failing to resolve it in consultations with South Korea.

The Geneva-based organization's appellate body, the top entity in its dispute settlement process, said South Korea is in violation of its rules after imposing duties of 11.66 to 22.77 percent on Japan-made pneumatic valves from August 2015.

Following an angry reaction from Washington, Seoul later said it could reconsider its decision to end the military agreement, which remains in effect until November, if Japan relists South Korea as a favored trade partner.

He called on South Korea to halt its "unjust measures against Japanese companies" and noted that Japan had a right to invoke counter-measures under WTO if Seoul fails to comply.

Experts expect Japan to launch complaints at the WTO over Korea's planned export curbs.

"They should resolve the matter politically and diplomatically, but chances are low for such a resolution because both governments are using the dispute to their own political advantage", said Cheong In-kyo, an economics professor at Inha University.

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