Mexico Files Trio of WTO Complaints Against US
Move for justice? came just days before Cancun trade meeting
GENEVA - Mexico has gone on the trade offensive against the US, bringing three separate complaints against its northern neighbor and NAFTA partner to the World Trade Organization.
Citing a "catalog" of violations of WTO rules, Mexican WTO Ambassador Eduardo Perez Motta demanded reimbursement of more than 10 years' worth of dumping duties charged by the US on imports of Mexican cement, and also asked for rulings on the legality of duties on oil pipes and steel plate.
"The only thing we are asking for is a [dispute settlement] panel with enough vision to grant us justice," Perez Motta told a meeting of the WTO's dispute settlement body.
All three requests were blocked by the US which said it was "disappointed" by the demands.
However, WTO rules prevent Washington from stopping the establishment of a panel if Mexico makes the request a second time.??
Perez Motta told reporters that it first complained about US duties on cement to the WTO's predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in 1990, and they were ruled illegal.
However, the GATT had no power to force Washington to drop the duties, which the US imposed after deciding Mexican cement was being "dumped," or sold below market price.
"However incredible it may seem, the United States has kept in force for 13 years a measure that in principle never should have existed," Perez Motta said.
He said Mexico will only be satisfied when Washington pays back the money it has collected through the duty, but did not specify how much is involved.
US Ambassador Linnet Deily said she was confident the measure would be ruled to be consistent with WTO rules.
"We are disappointed that Mexico has chosen to pursue this matter further by requesting the establishment of a panel," she said.
Mexico's second complaint says that the US has acted illegally by maintaining dumping duties on Mexican oil pipes, claiming that the wrong methodology was used.
The third says that Washington was wrong to impose a duty of 11.68% on imports of plate steel from Altos Hornos de Mexico. The US claims that the company still benefits from government subsidies it received before it was privatized.
Deily said the duties were "in most respects no longer in effect" and suggested that Mexico was wasting its resources by pursuing the claim.
back, or read the latest Front Page stories:
US Seeks Stronger Ties With Brazil
WASHINGTON, DC – 06/13/06 – Rebounding from the failure to craft a Free Trade Area of the Americas pact, the Bush Administration is aiming at strengthening trade ties with Brazil in an effort to counter China’s fast-growing economic influence in Latin America; China should not only be seen as an export market with 1.3 billion consumers, but also as a nation of 1.3 billion ''new competitors,'' says US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guittierez.
US Threatens WTO Action Against China
WASHINGTON, DC – 06/10/06 – The White House is threatening to slap China with a World Trade Organization case unless Beijing responds quickly to US concerns over its lack of action on securing intellectual property rights for US products; talks on bringing the WTO case are at a ''very advanced stage,'' according to a high level official in the Office of the US trade Representative.
High Hopes for Central American Trade Pact
WASHINGTON, DC – 06/08/06 – The US -Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) still faces some hurdles, but could become a reality ''very soon,'' according to Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick; the issues relating to government procurement, intellectual property rights and agriculture still need to be worked through, says the former US Trade Representative following a session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.