WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –

A broad U.S. coalition committed to preserving U.S. trade laws strongly objected to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body report issued today in Japan’s challenge of a U.S. antidumping calculation methodology known as “zeroing.”

“This decision is outrageous, though hardly surprising,” stated David A. Hartquist, Executive Director of the Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL). “It is simply the latest in a long chain of decisions by the Appellate Body that demonstrate the overreaching, results-oriented nature of WTO dispute settlement in the trade remedies arena.”

At issue is a longstanding Commerce Department practice known as “zeroing.” Since 1921, U.S. law has provided a remedy when international price discrimination hurts domestic producers and their workers. The basic right to counteract injurious dumping was included in the GATT in 1947 and has been maintained ever since. Under U.S. law and in the GATT, dumping has always been defined as the sale of a product for export at a price that is less than the price in the home market for the same product. Dumping is actionable when a domestic industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury. Longstanding U.S. practice has been to calculate the amount of antidumping duties owed on imports to remedy 100% of dumping found by 1) identifying all dumped transactions, 2) totaling the dollar amount of dumping found, 3) imposing duties on 100% of dumping found, and 4) imposing no (or “zero”) dumping duties on each transaction that is not dumped. The Appellate Body has ruled that this practice violates WTO rules in all phases of an antidumping proceeding.

“The WTO Appellate Body has undermined U.S. antidumping law,” said Roger Schagrin, Chairman of CSUSTL’s Government Relations Committee. “This is an abuse of power. The Appellate Body is making law, not interpreting the negotiated texts.”

Terence P. Stewart, Chairman of CSUSTL’s Membership Committee, explained, “It is simply not the case that the U.S. agreed to the elimination of this critical and longstanding practice during the Uruguay Round trade negotiations. This is evidenced by the fact that the U.S., along with the European Commission and Canada, among others, continued the practice without interruption for years following the conclusion of those negotiations. It is disturbing that the Appellate Body has now proclaimed that none of the Uruguay Round negotiators actually knew what they agreed to.”

“It is well past time for the Administration to stand up to the Appellate Body on this issue,” urged Mr. Hartquist. “This decision must not be implemented, and if the Doha Round negotiations resume, the Appellate Body must be corrected on this issue and restrained going forward.”

CSUSTL is an organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, workers, and individuals committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws. Its membership spans all sectors including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining and energy, and services. It is committed to ensuring the unfair trade laws are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement processes at the WTO and elsewhere.

SOURCE Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws

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