CITAC Urges Senate to Reject Proposal to Subsidize Trade Remedy Cases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2000
Contact: Eric Thomas
Washington, D.C. - The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) today urged the United States Senate to reject an amendment that would distribute antidumping and anti-subsidy duties collected by the U.S. Customs Service to the U.S. companies who requested the duties in the first place. CITAC believes that the "compensation" amendment, sponsored by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), would clearly violate international trade rules and encourage more companies to file dumping and subsidy cases, all to the detriment of U.S. consuming industries.
"This proposal would put even more pressure on the U.S. Department of Commerce to find that imports are being dumped or subsidized, regardless of what the facts are," said Jon E. Jenson, Chairman of CITAC and President Emeritus of the Precision Metalforming Association. "It would also discourage settlements under which foreign countries voluntarily restrain imports, since no duties would be collected or distributed to petitioning U.S. companies under a settlement."
Jenson added that the amendment, which Senator Byrd is seeking to add to the agriculture appropriations bill, would violate World Trade Organization rules because it would act as a government subsidy to petitioning U.S. companies. In addition to undermining legitimate U.S. trade cases, the Byrd amendment could also spark retaliation by other WTO members.
"Most important, the amendment would have serious consequences for U.S. consuming industries," Jenson said. "By creating a new incentive for U.S. companies to file trade cases against imports and to resist settling them, we run the risk of shutting out imports needed by American industry. Access to low-cost, high quality imports has been an important factor in the expanding U.S. economy - closing the door on imports may protect a handful of companies in the short term, but it also has dire long-term consequences for our economy as a whole."
CITAC is a growing coalition of companies and trade associations concerned about keeping channels of trade open so that U.S. consuming industries have access to goods under world-competitive conditions. CITAC members include American Institute for International Steel, Consumers for World Trade, International Association of Drilling Contractors, Michelin North America Inc., National Retail Federation, and Precision Metalforming Association.