‘Subdued’ Japan hits back at tariffs
JAPAN is considering tariffs on US exports worth $409 million in retaliation against steel and aluminium import tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump.
Such a move would signal Tokyo is ready to go beyond back-door talks and pleas for exemptions from the US duties.
Japan is the only major US ally that did not receive exemptions from Trump’s tariff decision. But it has refrained from following in the footsteps of China and the EU, which responded to the US decision with reciprocal threats.
That may change as months of negotiations have failed to convince Washington to add Japan to a list of countries exempted from the US tariffs, analysts say.
Tokyo’s planned retaliatory tariffs on US exports would be the equivalent value to duties imposed by Washington via its tariffs, public broadcaster NHK said yesterday.
The government is preparing to notify the World Trade Organisation of the plan this week, a necessary procedure under global trade rules.
Analysts see such a threat as more of a negotiating tactic to improve the chances of getting a US exemption, though it would be a notable shift from Tokyo’s fairly subdued tone.
“This would be a half-step forward since, up till now, Japan was just making requests to the US for an exemption,” said Junichi Sugawara, an analyst at the Mizuho Research Institute. – Reuters