January 15,2004

Grassley on the E.U.'s Retaliation Plans Over the Byrd Amendment


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Sanctions announcement on the Byrd amendment
Da: Thursday, Jan. 15, 2004

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today made the following comment on today’s news that the European Union, Canada, Japan, India, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and South Korea requested authorization from the World Trade Organization to retaliate against the United States in the Byrd amendment case, which has to do with what happens with U.S. duties on allegedly unfair imports after they are collected.

"I'm disappointed our trading partners are seeking retaliation in this case. But the Byrdamendment was slipped into an appropriations conference report without full debate in the Senate.The Finance Committee, as the committee of jurisdiction, never had a chance to review theamendment. I'm not surprised that a bill that was never considered by the committee of expertiseor even the full Senate was found to violate our international commitments. That's why we havecommittees - to make sure things like that don't happen.

"As I have before, I'll work with the administration and my colleagues before deciding nextsteps. Of course, we need to comply with our WTO commitments, win or lose. That's part ofexpecting other nations to comply when they lose cases against us. And even though we've lost thiscase, it doesn't affect our ability to use our antidumping or countervailing duty laws. Those are stillat our disposal."