/javascript" src="../static/js/analytics.js"> CalTrade Report - Senate Axes Byrd Amendment, Step 2 Cotton Program California, CalTrade Report, California global, California international, Byrd Amendment, Step 2, cotton subsidies, World Trade Organization - Senate Axes Byrd Amendment, Step 2 Cotton Program - Budget bill passing by a slim 51-50 margin contains repeal of controversial mechanisms CalTrade Report Asia Quake Victims WASHINGTON, DC – 12/22/05 – The Senate has passed a complicated budget reduction plan that includes provisions repealing both the controversial Byrd Amendment anti-dumping mechanism and the Step 2 Program that provides export subsidies to US cotton growers; the Bush Administration pushed hard for repeal of the programs, both of which had been ruled in violation of international trade law by the World Trade Organization. - WASHINGTON, DC – 12/22/05 – The Senate has passed a complicated budget reduction plan that includes provisions repealing both the controversial Byrd Amendment anti-dumping mechanism and the Step 2 Program that provides export subsidies to US cotton growers; the Bush Administration pushed hard for repeal of the programs, both of which had been ruled in violation of international trade law by the World Trade Organization. - Senate Axes Byrd Amendment, Step 2 Cotton Program California, CalTrade Report, California global, California international, Byrd Amendment, Step 2, cotton subsidies, World Trade Organization - Senate Axes Byrd Amendment, Step 2 Cotton Program

 

Monday, February 06, 2006

 

Become a CalTrade Member--It's Free!
Front Page
Page Two
PR Newswire
Opinion
Profiles
Trade Leads
Calendar
Mission
Editor
Press Releases
Partner Orgs
Advertise Opp.
Contact Us
Int.Time Clock
Currency Calc
Cal Links
Free Services


Our Car

Front Page

E-mail PagePrint Version



Senate Axes Byrd Amendment, Step 2 Cotton Program

Budget bill passing by a slim 51-50 margin contains repeal of controversial mechanisms

WASHINGTON, DC - 12/22/05 - A bill including repeal of two US programs ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization (WTO) has won final passage in the Senate and was sent back to the House of Representatives for another vote.

One of the programs facing repeal, created by the so-called the Byrd Amendment, diverts anti-dumping and countervailing duty revenue to US companies that bring dumping and subsidy cases. 

The other, called Step 2, provides export subsidies to US-grown cotton.

By a vote of 51-50 yesterday, with Vice President Cheney breaking the tie, senators passed the bill that contains scores of provisions, including the two repeal measures.

The bill is aimed at reducing the federal government budget deficit.

Whether the House would vote on the bill today, or some time in January, when most members return from a holiday recess, was not clear.

The House previously had passed the bill, but, because the Senate altered it by deleting three provisions, the House must pass it again before it can go to the president for signature. 

The White House has indicated strong support for the bill.

The Byrd Amendment - named after sponsor Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) and formally called the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act - passed as part of an agriculture spending bill in 2000. 

It authorizes payment of anti-dumping and countervailing duty revenues to the companies that petitioned the government to investigate foreign goods that allegedly are dumped on the US market or produced with government subsidies.

A 2003 World Trade Organization ruling determined that the Byrd Amendment violates the WTO agreement, which does not allow such payments as a trade remedy for dumping and subsidies.

The bill passed by the Senate would repeal the Byrd Amendment but continue allowing companies to receive anti-dumping/countervailing revenue on any goods subject to such duties that enter the US market before October 2007.

The Bush Administration long has requested repeal of the controversial amendment, but opposition to its repeal remained strong in Congress, especially in the Senate.

Before passage of the Byrd Amendment, the US Treasury received all anti-dumping and countervailing duty revenue. Repeal of the amendment would restore that practice, reducing the federal budget deficit by about $300 million over five years.

In its ruling on the Byrd Amendment, the WTO authorized imposition of retaliatory tariffs on US imports - up to about $134 million in duties for 2005 - by 11 US trading partners, including the European Union (EU), Canada, and Mexico.

Dumping is the import of goods at a price below the home-market or a third-country price or below the cost of production. A subsidy is a grant conferred by government on a producer.

The deficit-reduction bill passed by the Senate yesterday also would eliminate by August 2006 a cotton export subsidy program called Step 2. 

Step 2 is part of a larger farm program that pays domestic users and exporters to buy US-grown cotton whenever US cotton prices exceed world market prices.

Last March, the WTO ruled in a case brought by Brazil and cotton-producing companies from West Africa that the program violates the WTO agreement on subsidies.

Repeal of Step 2 would advance US compliance on the WTO cotton ruling. 

In June, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) complied with part of the ruling that did not need congressional approval: It changed the way it charges fees on two programs that guarantee credits for foreign purchases of US agricultural products by basing such fees on risk, as the WTO ruling required.
 
At the recently concluded WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong, US Trade Representative Rob Portman committed the US to repealing all cotton export subsidies by the end of 2006.
 
A declaration issued by ministers at the end of the meeting also calls for duty-free, quota-free access to cotton from the poorest least-developed countries, but only when implementation starts on any final agreement reached in the long-stalled, broader WTO negotiations.

The declaration also states as an objective that any negotiated cuts in domestic support spending for cotton farmers in wealthy countries would have to go deeper and be implemented faster than any other domestic agricultural subsidy cuts.

The US delegation worked intensively with negotiators from Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali, Chad, and Senegal, countries known as the C5, that had threatened to block any WTO agreement without satisfactory resolution of the cotton issue.

Go back, or read the latest Front Page stories:

New Air Rules for Foreign Trucks on Cal Highways

SACRAMENTO – 02/04/06 – The California Air Resources Board has issued new regulations mandating that foreign commercial trucks operating in California will soon be required to meet US air pollution control standards; at least 4,000 trucks – most from Mexico – hauling cargo along the state’s expansive highway network on any given day in direct violation of federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission controls, the agency says.


Bye, Bye Byrdie!

WASHINGTON, DC – 02/02/06 – The controversial Byrd Amendment has been repealed by Congress on a 216-214 vote in the House of Representatives; the amendment had paid out more than $1.26 billion to US companies affected by low-cost imports over the last five years with nearly half the tariffs collected going to just five US companies, including more than $476 million paid-out to just one corporation – the Timken Co., an Ohio-based ball bearing manufacturer.


WTO Biotech Decision Expected Within Weeks

WASHINGTON, DC – 02/01/06 – A preliminary decision on a challenge to the European Union’s ban on crops derived from biotechnology brought by the US and several other countries is expected shortly, a WTO decision – which has already been postponed twice since last year – in favor of the US would allow countries to sell large amounts of processed foods containing biotech ingredients to EU countries, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.





 

 


Web Design & Development by Turn-It-Digital in Los Angeles