TOKYO/NEW DELHI: Japan said it may ask the World Trade Organisation to help resolve a dispute related to India’s “safeguard” tariffs on the import of hot-rolled steel, even as steel ministry sources indicated they would press for extending the floor price on steel imports.
Prompted by massive steel exports from the China, countries such as the US and Australia, as well as the European Union have imposed duties on steel imports. Japan, the world’s second-largest steel producer, is under pressure because of these moves.
On Thursday, a steel ministry official said the ministry will call for extension of the MIP for as long products are being dumped in India. New Delhi had imposed a minimum import price (MIP) on 173 steel products in February, helping cut inbound shipments last month to their lowest level in at least 14 months. The MIP on some products expires in August.
The safeguard import taxes on some steel products stand extended until March 2018.
Japan said it will make repeated requests to the Indian authorities to ensure the consistency of their measures with the WTO agreements, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said in its annual report on unfair trade on Wednesday.
The India safeguard tariffs were placed as one of the priority issues that the METI will be working on, said Osamu Nishiwaki, director of rules and dispute settlement at METI. “We will step up our bilateral discussions with India over safeguard measures.”
Asked whether Japan may consider bringing the issue to the WTO soon, Nishiwaki said it will depend on the results of the talks.