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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Amanda Lahan
July 22, 2008 The PBN Company
  Tel. 202-466-6210
Amanda.Lahan@pbnco.com


CITAC: ‘TRADE ENFORCEMENT’ BILL WOULD HURT
U.S. MANUFACTURERS AND EXPORTERS;
IGNORES NEEDS OF CONSUMING INDUSTRIES

Washington, D.C.: The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) today expressed disappointment that U.S. manufacturers who consume steel and other materials from domestic and international sources were essentially ignored in the “Trade Enforcement” bill (H.R. 6530), introduced July 17th by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI).  CITAC warned that several provisions in the bill would hurt U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, are WTO-illegal and would prompt retaliation against U.S. exports.

“Many provisions of this bill apply 19th century logic to the 21st century problems of American manufacturers,” said Stephen Alexander, Executive Director of CITAC. 

“Trade remedy laws, far from providing assistance to U.S. manufacturers, now help a handful of special interests and ignore the plight of most U.S. manufacturers, distributors and retailers.  The Trade Enforcement bill would make this already serious problem considerably worse, and take us in the wrong direction,” Alexander said.

Under this bill, the Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission would continue to ignore the harm caused to American businesses and workers from imposing duties in excessive amounts by using such tactics as “zeroing.”

“The bill ignores the requirements of the vast majority of American manufacturers, including small businesses, steel users, retailers and others,” said Alexander.  “Giving downstream users of products in the U.S. the right to participate in trade remedy cases would be a step in the right direction, but this bill did not even do that.  The legislation also blatantly defies WTO decisions that a handful of U.S. companies disagree with and would force the U.S. Administration to act like these decisions don’t exist.  The result would be to tax U.S. downstream businesses excessively and to open U.S. exporters to retaliation by our trading partners just as U.S. exports are increasing dramatically.”

A key example is “zeroing,” which has been condemned by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body at least six times in the past several years.  Despite the WTO’s clear ruling that zeroing, which inflates antidumping margins, is unlawful, the Trade Enforcement Bill seeks to compel the U.S. government to continue this unlawful methodology.

“The zeroing game is over,” says Lewis Leibowitz, Counsel to CITAC and a partner in the Washington-based law firm of Hogan & Hartson.  “Zeroing has rightly been ruled contrary to the Antidumping Agreement of the WTO.  If the U.S. insists on maintaining this illegal practice, or, worse yet, rolls back the modest reforms already implemented, we are handing our trading partners the motivation as well as the right to retaliate against U.S. exports.” 

“CITAC looks forward to engaging in a vigorous debate on the bill, and to working with the Committee to improve it to protect the interests of all U.S. manufacturers and help U.S. industry compete – and win – in the global marketplace,” concluded Alexander.

 


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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