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Japan trade deficit quadruples on-year in March to $14 bn

Japan's trade deficit quadrupled on-year in March to $14 billion as a weak yen pushed up post-Fukushima energy bills and other import costs, government data showed Monday. Japan logged a deficit of 1.45 trillion yen ($14 billion) against the year-before shortfall of 356.9 billion yen, the finance ministry said. Exports rose 1.8 percent to 6.38 trillion yen, thanks to higher shipments of cars and processed fuel products. But imports grew a much faster 18.1 percent to 7.83 trillion yen due to higher imports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas.

Japan, U.S. still apart over beef tariffs after concession by Tokyo

Japan has offered to cut its tariffs on beef imports from the United States to around 15 percent from the current 38.5 percent to bridge differences over a Pacific free trade pact, sources familiar with the matter said Sunday. The two countries, however, still remain apart in the negotiations as the United States has asked Japan to lower the rate to below 10 percent after giving up on demanding that Japan completely abolish its beef tariffs.

Japan to abolish tariffs on Australian tuna, oranges in stages

Japan will abolish tariffs on southern bluefin tuna from Australia in stages over a decade once the recently agreed bilateral free trade deal takes effect, the farm ministry said Friday. Under the free trade agreement, Japan will also abolish tariffs on Australian oranges for the June-September period in stages over 10 years, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Japan to abolish tariffs on Australian tuna, oranges in stages

Japan will abolish tariffs on southern bluefin tuna from Australia in stages over a decade once the recently agreed bilateral free trade deal takes effect, the farm ministry said Friday. Under the free trade agreement, Japan will also abolish tariffs on Australian oranges for the June-September period in stages over 10 years, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

U.S. offers to cut tariffs on 99.5% of goods under TPP

The United States has proposed eliminating tariffs on 99.5 percent of goods imported from Japan, as it presses Tokyo to scrap tariffs even on agricultural products to clinch a 12-nation Pacific free trade deal, a Japanese government source said Thursday. As of last December, Japan had proposed bringing its tariff liberalization rate to 92 percent, prompting the United States to press Japan in subsequent bilateral talks, the source said.

China to appeal WTO rare earth ruling

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Thursday it would appeal against a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that found it violated global trade rules with its export limits on rare earth minerals used in defense and technology products. China lost a WTO dispute in March, handing Europe and the United States a victory over what they see as China's unfair trade practices. "China will make the utmost efforts in the appeals process," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang told reporters at a monthly briefing.

China to appeal WTO rare earth ruling

China will appeal a ruling by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that its export restrictions on rare earths and other resources broke international rules, the commerce ministry said on Thursday. The WTO's disputes settlement body decided last month that China's export duties and quotas, plus limits on who could trade in the rare earths tungsten and molybdenum -- which are key raw materials for hi-tech goods -- skewed global commerce against other nations.

Japan to cut tariffs on Australian chicken, pork

Japan will apply a tariff-quota system on such products as chicken and pork from Australia to allow set quantities of imports with low duty rates under a bilateral free trade deal, the Japanese farm ministry announced Thursday. Tokyo and Canberra reached a substantive free trade agreement on April 7 after seven years of negotiations, but the details had not been announced.

S. Korea's industrial parts and materials exports grow 2.1 pct in Q1

SEJONG, April 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's exports of industrial parts and materials increased from a year earlier in the three months ended March while its imports from Japan further dwindled to a record low, the government said Thursday. In the January-March period, outbound shipments of industrial parts and materials came to an estimated US$64.88 billion, up 2.1 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The amount accounts for 47 percent of the country's overall exports in the cited period.

Russia mulls lawsuit against U.S. in WTO over sanctions

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is looking at the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the United States in the World Trade Organisation over sanctions hitting Russian banks, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Wednesday, according to Russian news agencies. St Petersburg-based Bank Rossiya was sanctioned alongside its chairman and largest shareholder Yuri Kovalchuk in March as part of punitive measures by Washington over Russia's annexation of Crimea.
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