U.S. Proposes to Address "Zeroing" in World Trade Organization Negotiations
WASHINGTON DC - The United States today submitted a proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Negotiating Group on Rules to correct the Appellate Body’s rulings regarding offsets for non-dumped comparisons in antidumping proceedings, often referred to as “zeroing.” The paper was submitted as part of the ongoing Rules negotiations in the Doha Development Agenda.
The United States has previously stated its strong objections to recent dispute settlement rulings by the WTO Appellate Body regarding zeroing. Accordingly, the United States is now urging WTO Members to resolve this issue in the WTO negotiations by adopting clear, precise rules permitting the use of zeroing in both investigations and administrative reviews. The United States looks forward to discussing its proposal with other WTO Members in the Rules Group meetings in mid-June.
“Where the WTO issues dispute settlement rulings contrary to the long-held understandings and practices of a wide variety of WTO Members, it is important that Members take up that issue in the WTO negotiations, so it is not simply left to the dispute settlement process, but rather is resolved by rules actually agreed upon by Members,” said Warren Maruyama, General Counsel of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
David. M. Spooner, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration, stated, "Because the practice of zeroing has resulted in extensive litigation and conflicting judgments, Members' obligations under the WTO remain unclear. The U.S. firmly believes the members of the WTO need to engage in a frank and thorough discussion to resolve the issue of zeroing."
The WTO has issued a number of dispute settlement reports dealing with the issue of offsets for non-dumped comparisons in various contexts in antidumping proceedings, most recently in a January 2007 Appellate Body report concerning a dispute between Japan and the United States. The United States strongly criticized the Appellate Body’s findings in that report, both in statements at meetings of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), and in a detailed written submission to the DSB in February 2007.
The paper submitted by the United States will be available at www.ustr.gov