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Japan May Join Talks On Law Against
- Subject: Japan May Join Talks On Law Against
- From: soewin@xxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 08 Jul 1997 20:09:00
Subject: Japan May Join Talks On Law Against Myanmar
>From The Daily Yomiuri: 9 July 1997. (Business Section)
JAPAN MAY JOIN TALKS ON LAW AGAINST MYANMAR
Japan may join the European Union in taking the United States to the World
Trade Organization over a U.S. state's sanctions law against Myanmar, a
Japanese trade official said Tuesday.
"We are considering taking part in the talks as a third country," said the
official in charge of international agreements at the International Trade
and Industry Ministry.
"Our status will not be equal to that of the United States or the EU. But it
may he close to that of an observer," he added.
The European Union decided last month to take its complaint about the 1996
Massachusetts law to the WTO.
The law bars state-owned entities from buying goods from companies doing
business in military-ruled Myanmar. That has led to the blacklisting of
roughly 150 foreign companies.
"There is the possibility of the law violating the WTO provision on
government procurement" the official said.
"Depending on U.S. action hereafter on the matter, we may consider taking it
to the WTO ourselves."
In January, the EU formally complained about the Massachusetts law, while
Japan registered its objections more quietly.
The EU claims the law violates a WTO provision committing most states to
open all government contracts to international competition. "We have been
getting information on the matter from the U.S. side as the federal
government and the state of Massachusetts continue consultation," he said.
"It is not that the federal government can unilaterally force the state to
scrap the law."
In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Chartene Barshefsky last month, EU
Trade Commissioner Sir Leon Brittan expressed displeasure at the lack of
progress made in the consultation.
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