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Ag groups oppose changes to trade remedy laws

Comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce noted antidumping rule changes could potentially trigger retaliation against U.S. agricultural exports.

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and 18 other food and agriculture groups submitted comments opposing amendments to antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) in May.

The DOC published Regulations Improving and Strengthening the Enforcement of Trade Remedies Through the Administration of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws in the Federal Register on May 9.

The proposed new rules cover a variety of substantive and procedural issues related to department’s administration of antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) proceedings under Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

The department issued proposed regulations that “would drastically expand the substantive reach and economic impact of U.S. trade remedy laws,” the agriculture coalition noted in comments to the DOC while outlining ways the proposed rule could potentially trigger retaliation against agricultural exports.

“The proposed amendments to the AD/CVD regulations would jeopardize U.S. agriculture and food product manufacturing output and imperil the exports of these U.S. industries,” the comments stated. They added the amendments would “do more harm than good to U.S. production, ultimately increasing the cost of American food production and food price inflation.”

NGFA and other agriculture groups said the DOC's proposed amendments to the AD/CVD regulations would:

  • Jeopardize the supply of inputs critical to agriculture and food product manufacturers in the U.S. by increasing AD/CVD duties on imports and injecting new uncertainties into their business plans
  • Substantially raise the costs and risks associated with exporting to the U.S., so countries with significant exports to the U.S. may unilaterally retaliate by imposing tariffs or other trade restrictions on U.S. imports
  • Threaten U.S. exports by prompting other countries to make similar changes to their AD/CVD rules and signal to U.S. trading partners that social values —including values only weakly related to market dynamics — can be infused into AD/CVD laws.

“This is a dangerous message for the United States to send to any of its trading partners, and especially to trading partners with policy priorities, property rights regimes, and notions of human rights that diverge from American ideals,” the ag groups said.

Read the full comments here.

In addition to NGFA, other notable groups in the coalition included the American Bakers Association, Corn Refiners Association, Independent Bakers Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the National Corn Growers Association, National Sorghum Producers, North American Export Grain Association and North American Renderers Association.

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