WTO Rules Against U.S. Steel-Dumping Act

By Agence France-Presse A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruled Sept. 16 that a U.S. law allowing U.S. industries to be paid anti-dumping duties levied on foreign competitors falls foul of global trade rules. The WTO panel of experts had handed down its ruling on the U.S. Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act, named for its sponsor, Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. The act allows the U.S. government to redistribute to steel producers, or other companies which demanded action, some of the revenues from the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties that were applied. Under the amendment, such companies were entitled to receive offsetting payments to cover certain expenses -- such as investment in manufacturing facilities and acquisition of technology -- which were incurred to produce a product after anti-dumping measures were imposed on imports of the same item. The WTO panel said the amendment provides help for domestic producers which goes beyond the anti-dumping or countervailing duties that already help them against imports and which was not envisaged by WTO legislation. A U.S. government official said in July that if the final ruling by the WTO dispute body upheld the interim finding, the U.S. was likely to appeal. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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