South Korea has been receiving severe condemnation over a final ruling of anti-dumping duties slapped on imports of industrial pneumatic valves imported from Japan by the World Trade Organization, AFP reported on Wednesday, September 11th.
The WTO's Appellate Body mostly upheld a previous ruling finding that Seoul's anti-dumping duties on Japanese pneumatic valves violated some international trade rules. It also requested that South Korea "bring its measures found ... to be inconsistent with the Anti-Dumping Agreement, into conformity with its obligations"
However, it threw out some of Japan's claims of alleged breaches.
Tokyo, nonetheless, hailed the ruling, saying in a statement the Appellate Body "accepted core claims of Japan", adding that it demanded South Korea "sincerely and promptly correct its measures that are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement so that its unjust measures against Japanese companies will not continue".
The WTO, which aims to create a level playing field in global trade, cannot force compliance with its rulings, but may approve retaliatory measures against violators of international trade rules.
The South Korean government has indicated that it plans to actively utilise the WTO dispute settlement process to protect its national interest and solve trade disputes with foreign countries in the future.
Japan first launched its complaint with the WTO after South Korea in 2015 slapped anti-dumping duties of around 10-20% on the Japanese-made valves, which are used to control the flow of air in various types of industrial equipment, including in robotics and automobile assembly.
Tokyo estimates Seoul's anti-dumping duties will cost it a total of around 2.3 billion yen (USD 21.3m) between 2015 and 2020.
With an estimated worth of 4.0 billion yen ($37 million, 34 million euros) Japan has been exporting valves to South Korea annually, according to the Japanese trade ministry.
Tuesday September 10th has witnessed the unfolding of a ruling, which comes at a time of escalating tension between Tokyo and Seoul; the two countries have been experiencing a long-running dispute over Japanese use of forced labour in South Korea during World War Two.
The United States has meanwhile blocked the naming of new members to the appellate panel part of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body, which will likely see the system grind to a halt by the end of the year, according to AFP.