WTO to look into Japan, South Korea chip dispute

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has set up a panel to judge a dispute over Japan's punitive tariffs on South Korean computer chip exports, an Associated Press report said.

The report said South Korea asked the WTO to step in after the two sides were unable to reach a solution in bilateral negotiations.

Japan in January imposed import duties of 27.2% on DRAM chips made by South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor, accusing the company of selling them in Japan at below-cost prices, the report said.

"Japan failed to demonstrate the existence of a financial contribution by the government of Korea," South Korea said in a statement to the WTO's dispute settlement body. "Japan also failed to demonstrate that a benefit was conferred on the Korean manufacturer."

Japan countered that South Korea failed to indicate sufficiently the legal basis of its complaint, the report said