Japan may be preparing retaliatory tariffs in response to America’s refusal to exempt it from the steel and aluminum import taxes now in effect.
The country has told the World Trade Organization that it is mulling choices after weeks of discussions with the White House failed to secure an exemption.
Shortly after President Donald Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on imports of steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, he exempted several allies, including the Canada, Mexico and the EU, while negotiating for new trade agreements with the countries. The EU’s exemption is due to expire Friday. Japan was one of the only close U.S. allies that were not given at least a temporary reprieve from the taxes.
Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s minister of economic trade and industry, has said the U.S. decision to impose tariffs could disrupt the world’s markets for the two metals.
“Japan will advance its consideration of necessary action under the framework of the WTO, while continuing to firmly request permanent exemption from the measures,” Seko said.
In 2003, Japan was one of several countries that filed complaints with the WTO over steel tariffs signed into law by former President George W. Bush. The organization later ruled they were illegal.