Background

Stronger laws to enforce antidumping and countervailing duty measures should be among the new tools the U.S. develops to deal with modern trade challenges, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai told Congress last week.

The America COMPETES Act recently approved by the House of Representatives includes a section that would (1) authorize the application of CV duty law to subsidies provided by a government to a company operating in a different country (third-country subsidization), such as those provided under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, (2) create a new successive AD/CV investigation to combat repeat offenders by making it easier for petitioners to bring new cases when production moves to another country, and (3) impose statutory requirements for the process and timeline of inquiries into circumvention of AD/CV duty orders. Similar, though more expansive, legislation was introduced last year in the Senate but is not part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, that chamber’s analog to the COMPETES Act.

In a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, Tai expressed support for these changes. “A lot of our trade enforcement tools, trade defense tools, date back to the 1970s and the 1980s,” Tai said, according to press reports. These tools “can be quite surgical,” which may not be sufficient to address problems that are “larger and more systemic,” such as those the U.S. has identified with respect to competition from China. As a result, she said, “we urgently need to take on this task of updating our tool box, expanding it and making it more effective.”

For more information on this and other legislative provisions affecting trade, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email.

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