(Washington, DC, December 7) – The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) today applauded the decision by a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel upholding determinations by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission (ITC) which led to the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of certain coated paper from Indonesia. Antidumping duties of 20.13 and countervailing duties of 17.93 were originally imposed in 2010 and were extended for an additional five years in 2016. Coated Paper is used in commercial printing to create magazines, books, direct mailing, and corporate materials.
Indonesia’s challenge covered a number of aspects of the Department’s countervailing duty determination related to the Indonesian government’s provision of timber for less than adequate remuneration, the ban on log exports, and government debt forgiveness. The dispute also included a challenge of the basis for the ITC’s finding of threat of material injury. For each of the items challenged, the panel found that Indonesia had failed to demonstrate that the U.S. had violated its obligations in the WTO agreements. Indonesia also made an “as such” claim regarding Section 771(11)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930 which provides that a tie vote of ITC commissioners in a determination based on threat of material injury violates U.S. WTO obligations. The panel rejected this claim, as well.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of this dispute, and want to thank and congratulate the teams at USTR, Commerce, and ITC who worked so diligently to defend these determinations,” said Bonnie B. Byers, Senior Consultant at King & Spalding LLP and a member of CSUSTL’s Executive Committee.
Terence P. Stewart, Managing Partner of Stewart and Stewart, a past President of CSUSTL and a member of the Executive Committee said, “No country has a more transparent and WTO-consistent trade remedy system than the United States. Today’s decision is welcome but comes in a dispute settlement system that has too often created obligations not contained in our international agreements. We applaud USTR, Commerce and the Commission for their efforts here and urge the WTO dispute settlement to strictly adhere to the limitations contained in the Dispute Settlement Understanding.”
President Tom Sneeringer added,”The Trump Administration has brought an elevated emphasis to keeping our trade laws strong and strictly enforced. That emphasis is taking many forms, including the kind of skillful and vigorous defense of U.S. law and procedure needed to win in Geneva.”
Link to the dispute panel’s report follows: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/491r_e.htm
The Committee to Supp ort U.S. Trade Laws (“CSUSTL”) is an organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms, and individuals committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy. CSUSTL’s members span multiple sectors, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services. We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO)