CONSUMER EXPECTATIONS MET:
Washington, DC: The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) today said it was not surprised that the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body found the "Byrd Amendment" in violation of world trade rules. The amendment, passed by Congress late in 2000, distributes antidumping and countervailing duties to U.S. companies that have petitioned the U.S. Government for protection rather than to the U.S. Treasury.
"Not surprisingly, the WTO found the Byrd Amendment in violation of U.S. trading agreements. It's a measure that protects uncompetitive companies and even rewards them for filing antidumping and countervailing duty cases. It's a crude distortion of trade law and it hurts the American economy and individual consumers," said Bob Bauer, President of the Association of Food Industries and head of CITAC's Byrd Task Force.
Over the past year, the Amendment has allowed a total of $206.8 million to be doled out to American companies. The big winners were the steel industry ($122 million), consumer products ($27.6 million), and food products ($22.2 million).
"The disbursements are the equivalent of a tax on consumers that goes directly to major corporations in this country for no particular purpose. Given a choice, I don't think most American consumers would choose to pay that subsidy," continued Bauer.
For more information on the Byrd Amendment and the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition, please visit www.citac-trade.org. CITAC's March newsletter focuses on the Byrd Amendment.