WTO Proposes Guideline For Using Anti-Dumping And Countervailing Duty Laws

World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Pascal Lamy has circulated to member nations a
draft text of rules he would like to see govern the use of anti-dumping and countervailing
proceedings, setting the stage for a major debate over the trade remedies. Lamy said the proposed
texts are “ambitious and balanced” and will enable negotiators to work on a set of rules in the
coming weeks. US textile manufacturers, importers and the US government immediately started
analyzing the texts to determine what impact they might have.

Officials of the US Department of Commerce and US Trade Representative’s office issued a
statement saying that while they appreciate the fact that WTO negotiators are addressing the
issues, they are “very disappointed with important aspects of the draft text.” They said that as
negotiations move forward, they will be “fully committed to preserving the strength and
effectiveness of US trade remedy laws.”

Questions surrounding the use of anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws already have
become hot issues in Congress and with US textile manufacturers and importers. Textile
manufacturers want to clarify and strengthen their ability to use the trade remedies, particularly
against state-run economies such as China and Vietnam. In particular, they would like to see
currency manipulation defined as an unfair trade practice that would be subject to countervailing
duties. Retailers and other importers are opposed to what they see as abuses of anti-dumping and
countervailing duty mechanisms.

Eric Autor, vice-president and international trade counsel for the National Retail
Federation, said: “Anti-dumping and countervailing duty measures clearly have their place in a
rules-based trading system. But we need to address unfair and abusive use of these measures that
have an adverse impact on US companies by undermining hard-won gains in access to foreign markets,
hurting their international competitiveness and ultimately harming American jobs, particularly in
manufacturing and agriculture.”

Because this is such a contentious issue, a consensus will be extremely difficult to reach.

December 4, 2007