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Japan-South Korea rift

WTO says South Korea imposed illegal tariffs on Japanese steel

Panel finds no 'factual basis' for continuing the long-running 15% duty

A car factory in Asan, South Korea: Stainless steel bars are used in items such as industrial machinery and auto parts.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- The World Trade Organization sided with Japan on Monday in its dispute South Korea, ruling that Seoul violated trade rules by imposing anti-dumping duties on Japanese stainless steel bars. 

In a report published that day, a WTO dispute settlement panel said Seoul failed to provide "sufficient factual basis and reasoned and adequate conclusions" on how ending the tariffs could "lead to a recurrence of injury" to South Korean producers.

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