CITAC: GOVERNMENT REPORT ON "BYRD AMENDMENT" FUNDS MISMANAGEMENT
Washington, DC A U.S. Treasury report that the U.S. Customs Service has mismanaged millions of dollars collected in final antidumping and countervailing duties under the "Byrd Amendment," is "another strong argument to repeal this act which has overpaid nearly $25 million to U.S. producers who have filed trade cases, is violating international trade laws, and is also continuing to harm American consumers," said Bob Bauer, CITAC's Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (CDSOA) Reform Coalition Chairman.
The report, Financial Management: Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Needs to Improve Compliance With The Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (CDSOA), recently released by the Department of Homeland Security, describes the "inadequate internal controls" which resulted in overpayments of "at least $25 million, and likely more," to domestic producers that have applied for funds under the Byrd Amendment. Approximately $560 million has been paid to U.S. companies by the U.S. government under the law in the last two years while the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body finally declared the Byrd Amendment illegal in January.
The CDSOA Reform Coalition, formed with a diverse set of consuming industry sectors under the leadership of CITAC (Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition), is calling for an end to the subsidization of trade cases through paying government money to trade case petitioners.
"The mismanagement of millions of dollars through the Byrd Amendment, the overpayments made to domestic companies, the shortfall in government accounts, and Customs' noncompliance with the law should be another loud wake up call in determining to repeal this Act," said Bauer. "It already distorts trade. It creates a subsidy. It essentially taxes American consumers. And it violates WTO obligations. How many more reasons does Congress need to repeal this Amendment?"
"The monies received by these companies who have not made a valid claim for government assistance, and the overpayments made to some domestic companies are all at the expense of consumers," said Janet Kopenhaver, CITAC's Executive Director. "We hope the payments can be stopped before the next round of WTO-illegal disbursements, and eliminate the multi-million dollar incentive to file trade cases."
"American manufacturers suffer from trade restrictions on a large and growing number of products on which U.S. businesses depend," she said. "This needs to be stopped now before more consuming industries are hurt as further disbursements are made later this year."
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.