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WTO slams U.S. practice of ?zeroing? in antidumping cases

WTO slams U.S. practice of ôzeroingö in antidumping cases

The World Trade Organization's Appellate Body on Tuesday called for the United States to end its so-called 'zeroing' practice when calculating antidumping duties.

   Japan had challenged the U.S. practice in the WTO.

   Zeroing refers to the treatment of U.S. export sales when they are compared to 'normal value,' or the foreign value, of similar goods. Goods that are sold at less than their normal value are considered 'dumped.'

   However, when the Commerce Department finds transactions in the United States that occur at prices that are higher than normal value, it chooses to ignore those sales rather than averaging them into the final calculations. Opponents of zeroing say the Commerce Department practice leads to artificially inflated dumping margins.

   'The idea is that the proper measure of dumping must consider that some U.S. sales are at prices above foreign 'normal value' and it is the aggregate measure of dumping that is subject to import taxes,' said Lewis Leibowitz, counsel to the Washington-based Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC), in a statement. 'The practice of zeroing unfairly ignores the offsetting negative-margin sales.'

   CITAC is an advocate for abolishing the use of zeroing in U.S. antidumping cases.

   'While the United States may ignore this ruling, it would not be in the national interest for it to do so,' Leibowitz added. 'Compliance is the only workable solution, and we look forward to working with the Department of Commerce to bring its antidumping policies into compliance with the world trading system.'

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