USTR - Congress Takes Important Action
Office of the United States Trade Representative

 

Congress Takes Important Action
Byrd Repeal Brings US into Compliance with WTO Ruling 02/01/2006

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman lauded action by the Congress to repeal the so-called Byrd Amendment – a step which will bring the U.S. into compliance with a WTO ruling.

"The United States is committed to living up to its WTO obligations. We are very pleased that both the House and Senate have now taken the necessary steps to repeal the Byrd Amendment," Portman said.

"I want to thank House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Majority Leader Bill Frist, Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Majority Whip Roy Blunt for their leadership in advancing this issue."

"Special thanks goes to Chairman Thomas for his leadership in including repeal in legislation that initiated in the Ways and Means Committee," Portman added.

Background:

Under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (the "Byrd Amendment"), antidumping and countervailing duties are distributed to the U.S. producers who support a petition for import relief. Prior to the Byrd Amendment, these duties were paid into the U.S. Treasury. In January 2003, in a challenge brought by 11 WTO Members, the WTO found that the Byrd Amendment breached the WTO Antidumping and Subsidies Agreements and the GATT 1994. The WTO granted the U.S until the end of 2003 to comply.

At the end of 2004, the WTO authorized eight WTO Members to impose retaliation against the United States. The total amount authorized varied year to year in proportion to the amount of duties distributed and, at present, is $110 million for all eight Members. To date, four of these Members (including Canada, the EU, Japan, and Mexico) have imposed retaliation. Repeal will restore these duties to the Treasury, but will not affect the assessment of the duties against unfairly traded imports or will it affect the U.S. vigorous enforcement of the underlying U.S. trade remedy laws.

Under the repeal legislation, duties on entry of goods made and filed on or after October 1, 2007, will no longer be distributed to U.S. producers.

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