World Trade Organization Approves Retaliatory Tariff on U.S. Exports

The World Trade Organization has approved the imposition of retaliatory tariffs on a range of U.S. exports in response to the Continued Dumping and Subsidization Act of 2000 (Commonly known as the Byrd Amendment). These retaliatory tariffs have been proposed against a number of products including corn, paper, textiles & apparel, tools & equipment, footwear, eyeglass frames, photocopiers, furniture, and pens. As a result of these retaliatory tariffs, U.S. exports of these products will be assessed additional duties. The purpose of these retaliatory duties is to force the U.S. to act to eliminate the Byrd Amendment and the designated targets have been chosen to place the greatest pressure on the United States.

The Byrd Amendment permitted the U.S. to disburse monies collected in conjunction with Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders to the domestic industry bringing the action. In the past three years the U.S. has paid out more than 700 million dollars. The WTO had previously determined that the Byrd Amendment was an illegal subsidy and had ordered that the US abolish it by December 2003. While President Bush had promised to work with the Congress to comply with the WTO decision and to repeal the Byrd Amendment, the US Congress has, to date, failed to act.

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