WTO allows EU to take retaliatory measures against U.S.
A World Trade Organization arbitrator has allowed the European Union to take to retaliatory trade actions against the United States in a long-running transatlantic dispute concerning U.S. antidumping and countervailing duties.
The Geneva-based trade body said the U.S. Anti-Dumping Act of 1916 breaks WTO rules, and that the United States has failed to bring the law into conformity with the rules.
The WTO concluded the EU “may suspend trade obligations against the United States,” meaning the EU can now take equivalent retaliatory measures.
The WTO decision follows a request in January by the European Union and seven countries of the Americas and Asia for a WTO authorization to impose import duties on U.S. exports, to retaliate against U.S. legislation. The dispute centers on the redistribution of antidumping and countervailing duties to U.S. domestic producers, a practice deemed to be against WTO rules. The complainants to the WTO against the U.S. legislation were the EU, Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Japan, Korea and Mexico.
In January 2003, the WTO upheld complaints by U.S. trading partners concerning the law. The United States had until Dec. 27, to bring the law into conformity with WTO rules, a deadline that expired with no compliance by the U.S. Congress.
The European Commission, pleased with the latest WTO arbitration ruling, also expressed hope the United States will now amend its legislation.
“I welcome the recent move the U.S. Congress to bring legislation forward to implement the WTO ruling,” said EC trade commissioner Pascal Lamy. “I hope that rapid action from Congress will make sanctions unnecessary.”
In a short statement issued today, the EC did not indicate whether, or when, it would impose sanctions against the U.S.