EU Seeks Trade Sanctions Against U.S.
Jan 16, 2004
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The European Union (EU), risking fresh tensions with Washington, D.C., U.S., has asked for the go-ahead to slap trade sanctions on the U.S., just as efforts get under way to revive global commerce talks, according to a Reuters report. The sanctions have the potential to affect U.S. appliance makers doing business with EU countries.

In addition, eight other World Trade Organization (WTO) members, including Japan and India, asked the organization for approval to put sanctions on U.S. products in response to illegal U.S. anti-dumping rules, according to an AFP report.

The Reuters report stated that the sanctions, which could run to hundreds of millions of dollars of duties on U.S. goods, aim to force the U.S. capital to revoke a scheme under which local companies benefit when anti-dumping duties are imposed on foreign competitors.

In the past, the WTO has repeatedly ruled the measure, known as the "Byrd amendment," illegal. The disputed U.S. legislation -- named after its author Senator Robert Byrd -- allows the U.S. government to distribute proceeds from anti-dumping tariffs to American firms that complain of damage from foreign imports, the AFP report stated.

However, according to the same report, Australia, Indonesia, and Thailand, the other countries that lodged a complaint with the global trade body in 2002 over the so-called Byrd amendment, have reached a separate agreement with the U.S., according to a WTO source.

The five other states involved are Brazil, Canada, Chile, South Korea, and Mexico.

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