Shippers shoot at attempt to revive Byrd Amendment
A group of 94 shippers and trade associations from every major sector fired off a letter to U.S. Senate and House leaders Wednesday to prevent an attempt by some lawmakers to revive the so-called “Byrd Amendment.”
The letter asked Congress to “firmly reject any attempts to reinstate any provisions” of the Byrd Amendment.
“We are concerned that this legislation could be added to a ‘must pass’ bill in the closing days of congressional business,” the letter added.
Prior to its repeal by Congress in 2005, the Byrd Amendment, also known as the 2000 Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act, funneled billions of dollars from the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties to companies that petitioned for those duties rather than to the U.S. Treasury.
The letter pointed out that the former Byrd Amendment was found to be unconstitutional by the U.S. courts; unfair to other domestic manufacturers; and harmful to the competitiveness of U.S. exporters, who continue to face retaliation by other countries since the provision was found by the World Trade Organization to be contrary to U.S. international trade obligations.
“In a difficult current economic climate, U.S. exports are about the only bright spot of economic growth, accounting for about 50 percent of economic growth in the last year,” the shippers and trade associations said in their letter. “Instituting new legislation that invites retaliation against U.S. exports would be, at a minimum, counterproductive.”
Some of the shippers and trade association who signed the letter are the American Apparel & Footwear Association, American Institute for International Steel, Caterpillar, Eastman Kodak, General Electric, The Home Depot, The McGraw-Hills Cos., National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Grain and Feed Association, National Pork Producers Council, Procter & Gamble, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Target, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and Wal-Mart Stores.