CITAC APPLAUDS WTO RULING THAT 'BYRD AMENDMENT'
Washington, DC - Members of the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) applauded today's decision by the World Trade Organization appeals body that declared illegal the U.S. Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000, known as the "Byrd Amendment," and called on Congress to repeal it as a first order of business. The WTO found that the amendment is "inconsistent with certain provisions of the WTO agreements on antidumping and on subsidies."
The Byrd 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. In the past two years alone, the amendment allowed approximately $560 million to be doled out to American companies, with the U.S. steel industry as a major beneficiary.
"This is good news for consuming industries in the United States," said CITAC's Chairman Michael Fanning. "We have always held that the Byrd Amendment violates WTO rules and are pleased that the organization has now firmly agreed. Under the measure, companies have launched trade cases in hopes of not only closing the U.S. market to global competition but also gaining significant financial rewards. Thus, the Byrd Amendment clearly distorts trade by creating a big incentive for companies who don't want to compete in the global market."
Fanning continued, "Monies disbursed as a result of the Byrd Amendment are the equivalent of a tax on American consumers that goes directly to companies who file trade cases. Given the state of manufacturing in the United States, does it make sense for American consuming industries to pay a subsidy for these companies?" He concluded, "Congress should give consuming industries tax relief by repealing the Byrd amendment immediately."