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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Amanda Lahan
December 12, 2007 The PBN Company
  Tel. 202-466-6210
Amanda.Lahan@pbnco.com


CITAC JOINS BUSINESSES TO URGE PRESIDENT BUSH
TO REJECT ZEROING LEGISLATION

Washington, D.C. — In a letter to the White House sent today, CITAC joined 48 leading U.S. companies and trade organizations to urge the Administration to abide by WTO decisions and to reject any legislative effort to require the United States to ignore or defy decisions properly adopted by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body. The letter specifically references recent legislative proposals to ignore WTO decisions on the practice of zeroing, an accounting method that artificially inflates dumping duty margins.

In the letter, the group writes, "In our view, timely implementation of WTO decisions is absolutely necessary if the United States intends to employ the dispute settlement system to address violations by other WTO members. We cannot credibly ask our trading partners to adhere to their trade obligations if we do not do the same."

Zeroing refers to the treatment of goods imported into the U.S. when they are compared to "normal value" — or the foreign value — of similar goods. Goods that are sold in the U.S. for less than their normal value are considered "dumped." However, when the Commerce Department finds transactions in the U.S. that occur at prices that are higher than normal value, it chooses to ignore those sales rather than averaging them into the final calculations. By deliberately reducing the impact of those transactions on the final calculations, "zeroing" leads to artificially inflated dumping assessments.

"We know that the Administration disagrees with the WTO decisions that condemn zeroing. We at CITAC believe those decisions are right, and more importantly, that ending zeroing is in the interest of U.S. businesses and consumers," said CITAC Executive Director Steve Alexander.

"If the Administration disagrees with a WTO decision, it can raise the issue during trade negotiations, as it has done in this case," Alexander continued. "However, we do not believe zeroing is a policy worth defending. Do we really want other countries to also find ways to artificially raise the duties on U.S. products? Do we really want to do that to our own companies and consumers? At the end of the day, if WTO agreements are changed to permit zeroing, what U.S. interests will pay?"

CITAC counsel Lewis Leibowitz of Hogan & Hartson in Washington noted, "The question of revising the WTO agreements to permit zeroing is entirely separate from the obligation of the United States to implement WTO decisions. The United States should, as it has committed, implement WTO decisions on zeroing on time."

Since 2000, the WTO Appellate Body has ruled six times that zeroing in different types of anti-dumping and countervailing investigations and reviews is WTO-inconsistent. Most recently, on January 9, 2007, the Appellate Body determined that zeroing is in violation of the Antidumping Agreement in investigations, administrative reviews and most other antidumping proceedings. The United States committed to implementing the WTO decision to end zeroing no later than December 24, 2007. If not, U.S. trading partners will have the right to retaliate against U.S. exports. Not implementing the WTO decision will also make it very difficult for the U.S. to effectively employ the dispute settlement system to change the policies of other countries for the benefit of U.S. exporters.

 


A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

For additional information, visit www.citac.info or contact Amanda Lahan at The PBN Company at (202) 466-6210 or Amanda.Lahan@pbnco.com.

 

 

 

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