AAEI OPPOSES CHANGES TO ANTIDUMPING AND COUNTERVAILING DUTY RULES
The American Association of Exporters and Importers has barraged key legislators on Capitol Hill to stop to an amendment of the U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty rules.
The amendment, called the “Byrd Amendment” because it was proposed by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., would allow for the distribution of antidumping and countervailing duties to firms that are involved in legal cases. The Byrd Amendment was attached to the Agriculture Appropriations bill (H.R. 4461), and is up for a vote by the Senate today.
AAEI said the provision would have “serious impacts on U.S. foreign trade relations” and “deserves the in-depth examination that the normal legislative process provides.” Congress has rejected similar provisions in the past.
“The compensation provision conflicts with United States’ trade obligations under the World Trade Organization agreements, and will lead to counterproductive new trade confrontations with U.S. trading partners,” the New York-based association said.
Specifically, the provisions could be considered “an actionable subsidy” under the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. It also violates the WTO Antidumping Agreement. “The provision simply constitutes bad trade policy,” AAEI said.
The association worries that this “provision of monetary rewards to petitioners in a AD/CVD case will lead to the proliferation of trade litigation and will undercut a key restraint on frivolous action.” The current law requires petitioners to show that they have the support of domestic industry. “With the addition of the compensation provision, domestic companies that might normally oppose a petition will have an incentive to support it, for fear of missing out on the antidumping duty distribution in the event their opposition is unsuccessful,” AAEI said.
The provision could also encourage the U.S. government to create a new form of industrial trade policy to counter the measure.