Japan informs WTO it’s ready to retaliate against US steel tariffs

Japan told the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday it was ready to take retaliatory measures against US tariffs on its steel and aluminum, reversing its earlier conciliatory stance toward the close ally, AFP said. Tokyo informed the WTO it had the right to impose tariffs on US goods worth 50 billion yen ($451 million) – equivalent to the impact of the US tariffs newly imposed on Japanese metal products, the Foreign Ministry said. It stopped short of saying Tokyo might take action, saying: “We plan to decide appropriately, considering the impact on Japanese companies as well as related US measures.” US President Donald Trump sparked fears of a trade war in March when he decided to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, primarily to target China, but also allies, including EU countries as well as Japan.