By  on June 29, 2010

WASHINGTON — Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the powerful West Virginia Democrat who died at age 92 on Monday after serving a record 51 years in the U.S. Senate, was the prime mover of a contentious trade law intended to help domestic manufacturers.

The legislation, which was dubbed the Byrd Amendment, stipulated punitive tariffs collected by the U.S. on imported foreign goods that were subsidized or “dumped” on the U.S. market for less than their cost in their home country could be distributed to domestic companies hurt by the imports. President Clinton signed the bill in 2000.

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