CITAC ANNOUNCES MULTI-SECTOR COALITION TO STOP
Washington, DC Members of the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) announced today the formation of a broad coalition to battle the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 ("CDSOA"), known informally as the "Byrd Amendment," charging that the act distorts trade, creates a subsidy, harms American consumers and violates this country's international obligations.
The CDSOA Reform Coalition, formed with such diverse consuming industry sectors as seafood, steel, restaurants, candles, and retail, among others, is seeking to end payments to private corporations of public funds under the Byrd Amendment. The law doles out monies to companies that petitioned or supported antidumping and countervailing duty actions, while other duties are distributed to the U.S. Treasury. In the last two years alone, the Government has paid approximately $560 million to U.S. companies under the law.
After the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body declared the Byrd Amendment in violation of U.S. commitments in January 2003, the Bush Administration requested that Congress repeal the law, calling the payments "corporate subsidies [that] effectively provide a significant 'double-dip' benefit to industries that already gain protection from the increased import prices."
"Our coalition seeks to give a voice to American consuming industries who are suffering from the Byrd Amendment," said Bob Bauer, Association of Food Industries President and CDSOA Reform Coalition Chairman. "Our goal is to stop future disbursements of the duty funds, which are basically taxes paid by consuming industries. Companies who file or support trade remedy cases that are not valid should not be rewarded with government assistance at the expense of consumers. We are fighting to break the link."
"There are U.S. companies who file antidumping and countervailing duty cases because they can receive money down the road at the expense of customers," said CITAC Executive Director Janet Kopenhaver. "Although many of our members support outright repeal of the Byrd Amendment, we know this would be a very long battle. Right now however, our goal is to stop the next round of Byrd payments, which could clearly be better spent. All industrial sectors damaged by the Byrd amendment should join us in this fight."
The WTO declared the Byrd Amendment illegal because it provides money in addition to antidumping and countervailing duties. The duties alter the market, leading to reduced competition and higher prices, which hurts America's manufacturers and consumers as well as violates WTO rules. Failure to comply with the WTO ruling could lead to retaliation by more than 10 countries.
CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations committed to promoting a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries and their workers have access to global markets for imports that enhance the international competitiveness of American firms.