Price of subsidy

Published: Tuesday 31 May 2005

US exports headed to hostile l The eu and Canada will impose an additional 15 per cent duty (worth us$ 150) on certain us imports, beginning May 1, 2005. The World Trade Organisation (wto) had approved the sanctions, to be imposed by six other countries too, in December 2004 to retaliate against a us trade law called the Byrd Amendment, which subsidises its domestic industry (see Down To Earth, 'Taming the us', January 15, 2005). The law allows us companies claiming injury from cheap foreign imports to receive anti-dumping duties collected by the government. us companies are believed to have received us$ 284 million under the law in 2004. wto had ruled that such payouts were against anti-dumping agreements.

The eu will impose the duty on paper, farm and textile products; Canada will levy it on live swine, cigarettes, oysters and certain specialty fish. Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin warned: "We are prepared to retaliate on an increasing level if the Byrd Amendment stays in place."

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