GENEVA — A World Trade Organization arbitrator determined Friday that the U.S. has until Dec. 27 to implement earlier dispute panel findings that found the so-called Byrd Amendment regarding antidumping and antisubsidy duties was in breach of global trade rules.

Yashuhei Taninguchi, the WTO arbitrator, concluded in his 26-page report that the reasonable period for the U.S. to implement the recommendations and rulings of the dispute panel was “11 months from the date of adoption of the panel and appellate body reports,” which occurred Jan. 27.

In the proceedings, the U.S. had requested 15 months to comply by changing its law, while the complaining parties asked for six months from the date of adoption of the WTO rulings. The offending legislation was successfully challenged in September by 25 countries and world bodies, including the European Union, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and Japan, and upheld in an appellate ruling in January.

A EU trade official said Friday, “We hope the U.S. will abide by the [arbitrators’] ruling.”

The “Continued Dumping & Subsidy Offset Act of 2000,” also known as the Byrd Amendment after its sponsor, Sen. Robert Byrd, a powerful West Virginia Democrat, was passed in the Senate and signed into law by President Clinton in October 2000. The legislation stipulates that duties collected from antidumping or antisubsidy (countervailing) cases be distributed to the U.S. firms involved.

A U.S. official here said Friday, “We are working closely with Congress to bring the U.S. into compliance with its WTO obligations in this case.” But the official stressed that “since the findings did not affect the underlying U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws, the U.S. will continue to vigorously enforce those laws to ensure the U.S. industries, farmers and workers are not forced to compete with unfairly traded imports.”



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