EU Launches New WTO Case Against U.S. Over Antidumping Fines

By Agence France-Presse The European Union on Feb. 17 asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to arbitrate in a dispute over how the United States calculates punitive duties against goods allegedly dumped on its markets. The EU said it wanted the WTO to set up a panel to examine whether the U.S. use of "zeroing" when performing its dumping calculations was compatible with international trade rules. The U.S. government, when calculating the damage done to its companies by foreign imports sold at less than cost price, takes an average price from a range of examples of the good being sold. All examples of the imported good being sold at below cost price are calculated toward the dumping margin. But examples of the good being sold at a fair price are given a zero value -- which skews the ultimate calculation. The EU -- which itself used zeroing before losing a WTO case over imports of Indian bed linen -- said it had tried and failed to persuade the U.S. government to stop the practice. "Despite our efforts to solve this matter amicably, the U.S. failed to solve this issue. In these circumstances, we have no choice but to request a [WTO] panel," EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said in a statement. "The U.S. zeroing practice is negatively affecting our exporters to the U.S. and the problem will only grow further if zeroing is allowed to continue." The EU wants the WTO to rule in 31 antidumping cases involving a wide range of EU exports to the United States including steel, pasta, ball bearings and chemicals. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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