The cost of the ‘Byrd amendment’

In Febru­rary last year, the EU, Japan, Brazil, Aus­tralia and a dozen oth­er coun­tries won a WTO dis­pute with the USA over the amendment—named after the red­outable Sen. Byrd of West Vir­ginia, the Sen­a­tor for the US steel industry—to the US Anti-Dump­ing and Coun­ter­vail­ing laws. “Here’s(linkto the Eng­lish lan­guage version)”:–18.doc the report of the WTO Appel­late Body on the case (MSWord, about 30k).  The Byrd amend­ment requires the US gov­ern­ment to dis­trib­ute the rev­enues from anti-dump­ing or coun­ter­vail­ing duties to the sucess­ful peti­tion­ers in the trade-rem­e­dy case. The WTO has ruled that the amend­ment results in duties that exceed those per­mit­ted by the WTO agree­ments. Now the Con­gres­sion­al Bud­get Office has detailed the harm that the law does to the US econ­o­my bq. The Con­tin­ued Dump­ing and Sub­sidy Off­set Act of 2000 can be expect­ed to result in more antidump­ing and coun­ter­vail­ing-duty peti­tions and more sup­port for those peti­tions by import-com­pet­ing indus­tries.  That, in turn, would lead to the ini­ti­a­tion of more AD/CVD cas­es, the impo­si­tion of more duties, and greater con­se­quent harm to the econ­o­my as a whole. (“Con­gres­sion­al Bud­get Office(pdf file, about 30k)”:–02-ThomasLetter.pdf. Thanks to “Ben Muse”: for the point­er.) The sums are very large: $300 mil­lion will be col­lect­ed in 2004 and the total over the next decade is pro­ject­ed by the CBO to be $3.8 bil­lion.

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