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Japan urges China to improve practices on auto parts, chemicals+
[April 11, 2006]

Japan urges China to improve practices on auto parts, chemicals+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)TOKYO, April 11_(Kyodo) _ Japan urged China in an annual government report released Tuesday to improve its trade practices that Tokyo believes are unfair, such as slapping a tariff on auto parts as high as that imposed on complete automobiles, and expanding its list of hazardous chemicals on short notice to effectively block exports of items containing them.

The 2006 Report on the WTO Inconsistency of Trade Policies by Major Trading Partners points out 27 cases of Chinese trade policies Japan views as troublesome, including the country's enforcement of anti-dumping measures and crackdown on pirated and counterfeit items.

Specifically, Tokyo is requesting that China change its plan to impose from July a 25 percent tariff on auto parts instead of a regular 10 percent tariff, if the total value of imported auto parts exceeds 60 percent of completed vehicles' prices. The 25 percent tariff is tantamount to that levied on finished cars.

On March 30, the United States and the European Union filed a joint complaint with the World Trade Organization over China's "unfair" treatment of U.S. and European auto parts.

Japan is also questioning the compatibility of Chinese regulations on hazardous materials with international rules, because only foreign firms are required to pay $10,000 in commissions to Chinese authorities per case of export, when they try to ship items containing listed chemicals.

China added 158 chemicals to its list on Dec. 28 last year and implemented the new regulations for increased items from Jan. 1, forcing some foreign companies to stop their exports of goods containing the materials to China, Japanese officials said.

The newly added chemicals include chloroform, trichloroethylene and dichloromethane, which are widely used for industrial purposes, according to the report.

The report points out a total of 112 cases of unfair trade practices, including the 27 Chinese ones. Thirty-five are attributed to the United States, 11 to the European Union and 21 to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Japan continued to list as an unfair practice a U.S. law known as the Byrd Amendment this year, despite a recent decision by the U.S. Congress to repeal the law, because it will remain in force until Oct. 1 next year during the transition period.

The law allows the U.S. government to distribute proceeds from antidumping and countervailing duties to American companies allegedly hit by foreign imports in violation of WTO rules.

Tokyo in the report also accuses Taiwan of maintaining higher connection fees for Japanese Internet service providers compared with those for local businesses, and criticizes Hong Kong for allowing trademark violations.

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