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