GENEVA — A new confrontation between the U.S. and other major trading powers over reform of global antidumping rules could throw another wrench into the troubled Doha trade liberalization talks.
"It's a very serious issue," Peter Allgeier, the deputy U.S. trade representative, said at the end of a heated session here last week.
The showdown is over the partial inclusion in a draft negotiating text seeking to strengthen current global rules of a practice known as "zeroing" that's used by the U.S. to calculate punitive antidumping duties.
The U.S. method, critics assert, inflates the final amount of duty levied. When the Commerce Department calculates a weighted average dumping margin for a given company, it takes into account numerous comparisons between sales in the U.S. and sales or costs in the home market.
It is not uncommon for the Commerce Department to find that some comparisons reveal dumping — the price in the U.S. is lower than the home market price — while others reveal no dumping — the price in the U.S. is higher than the home market price. Where a comparison reveals no dumping, Commerce assigns a zero to that comparison, rather than a negative number equal to the amount by which the U.S. price exceeds the home market price. This practice is commonly referred to as "zeroing."
Antidumping duties are imposed on imports found to be sold in the importing country at below the value the products are sold in their home market. Efforts to remove the zeroing formula would draw a strong bipartisan reaction from Congress and politically influential U.S. industry groupings, trade sources said.
"I think the issue could be a deal breaker," said Robert Lighthizer, head of the international trade practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, in Washington.
Lighthizer, a former deputy USTR, said antidumping formulas are "always done in the last days" of trade negotiations. The WTO-sponsored Doha talks are aimed at lowering tariffs and other barriers to global trade, but have been stalled over issues such as farm subsidies and tariff-dropping formulas.
A series of case rulings by the WTO's Appellate Body found the practice of zeroing breached global rules. A group of 18 nations led by Japan and including Brazil, China, India, South Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Norway and Switzerland, as well as Hong Kong, said: "If the use of such practice prevails in the future, it would nullify the results of trade liberalization efforts.""We are both perplexed and disappointed by the chair's inclusion of zeroing," Japan's ambassador, Ichiro Fujisaki, told envoys.
Brazil said the proposal was "a step backward" and argued the imbalance in antidumping "would grant increased opportunities for imposing obstacles to trade flows."
In response to the onslaught of criticism, Allgeier said the U.S. believes some of the findings of Appellate Body "are counter to the outcomes envisioned by the negotiators during the Uruguay Round [1986-1994]."
Similarly, Alan Wolff, who leads Dewey Ballantine's international trade practice out of Washington, said, "Those who clamor for weaker disciplines over unfair trade threaten the continuation of the current, remarkably open, international trading system."
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)