SENATE APPROVES BYRD AMENDMENT ON ANTIDUMPING, COUNTERVAILING DUTY RULES
The Senate overwhelmingly approved the Agriculture Appropriations bill which contained an amendment of the U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty rules which the industry had opposed.
The amendment, called the “Byrd Amendment” because it was proposed by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W. Va., allows for the distribution of antidumping and countervailing duties to firms that are involved in legal cases.
The amendment was opposed by the American Association of Exporters and Importers and others in the industry, who 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,” the AAEI said. 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.
The AAEI also argued 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 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 provision could also encourage the U.S. government to create a new form of industrial trade policy to counter the measure.