Japan has launched a complaint against China at the World Trade Organization to challenge anti-dumping duties levied by China on Japanese exports of high performance stainless steel seamless tubes, the WTO said on Thursday.
The complaint is the third brought to the global trade body by Japan this year and brings to 27 the total number of complaints launched in 2012, the most in almost a decade. The WTO has begun shifting staff to its disputes team to cope with the increase in work.
The launch of the complaint triggers a 60 day period for China to try to settle the dispute, after which Japan can ask the WTO to appoint a panel of adjudicators to rule on its complaint.
The challenge to China's anti-dumping duties - which it can levy legitimately when it suspects imports are being sold at unfairly cheap prices on its market - comes after a U.S. victory over China in another case.
In October the WTO's appeals judges upheld a U.S. complaint against Chinese anti-dumping duties on a type of speciality steel used in electric motors, generators and transformers. Japan was a third party observer in that case.
Details of Japan's complaint were not immediately available. The WTO statement said they would be published within the next few days.