Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar09/09)
Geneva, 20 Mar (Kanaga Raja) -- The controversial practice of "zeroing" applied by the United States in determining anti-dumping margins has once again come under challenge at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), with Thailand bringing a dispute this time over certain anti-dumping measures imposed by the United States on imports of plastic carrier bags from Thailand.
Dispute Settlement Body on Friday agreed to establish a panel at the
Although it was a first-time request by Thailand, the US did not block the establishment of the panel, as it was entitled to, on account of a prior agreement between the US and Thailand.
third parties to the dispute are
The latest such ruling was issued on 4 February, in a dispute brought by the EC against the US, when the Appellate Body again held that the US had acted inconsistently with its obligations under the GATT 1994 and the Anti-Dumping Agreement in its continued application of the "zeroing" methodology in calculating dumping margins in periodic reviews of certain specified anti-dumping measures that it has maintained against the European Communities.
19 February, the DSB adopted the panel and Appellate Body reports in
the dispute. On Friday, the
finding against the
The US -- the main, if not currently, the only exponent of this concept -- has been strongly disputing this, and has specifically proposed changes to the rules to permit such "zeroing".
("Zeroing" is a term used when a member, in an anti-dumping investigation or finding of "dumping" and "margin of dumping" that results in a levy of countervailing duties, for comparison values, uses values of exports below the "normal" value, but ignores exports where prices are above the "normal" value.)
the present dispute, in a communication to the DSB,
to the Thai communication, the
final determination in this investigation was published on 18 June 2004
and an amended final determination was published by the USDOC on 15
July 2004. Following a final determination of injury by the United States
International Trade Commission, the
use of the 'zeroing' methodology is evident from the computer programs
used to calculate the margins of dumping in the Final Determination,
as amended, on which the anti-dumping duty order was based," complained
(1) different "models," i. e., types, of products are identified based on the most relevant product characteristics;
weighted average prices in the
the weighted average normal value of each model is compared to the weighted
to calculate the dumping margin for an exporter, the amount of dumping
for each model is added up and then divided by the aggregated
(5) before summing up the total amount of dumping for all models, all negative margins on individual models are set to zero.
Through this method, the USDOC calculates margins of dumping and collects anti-dumping duties in amounts that exceed the actual extent of dumping, if any, by the investigated companies.
use of 'zeroing' led the
The Thai communication noted that the "zeroing" methodology that the USDOC used in its anti-dumping investigation of plastic carrier bags from Thailand is identical to the methodology that was held to be inconsistent with the obligations of the United States under the Anti-Dumping Agreement in the following disputes: United States - Final Dumping Determination on Softwood Lumber from Canada and United States - Anti-Dumping Measures on Shrimp from Ecuador, and United States - Measures Relating to Shrimp from Thailand.
its statement at the DSB,
said that the DSB has adopted rulings and recommendations finding the
use of this type of zeroing to be WTO-inconsistent on several occasions,
such as US - Measures Relating to Shrimp from Thailand (DS343) and most
other actions, a first-time request for the establishment of a panel
DSB adopted the report of the panel (DS362) concerning a dispute raised
under the agenda item of surveillance of implementation of recommendations
adopted by the DSB, in the dispute concerning Section 211 of the Omnibus
Appropriations Act of 1998 (the DSB adopted rulings and recommendations
on 2 February 2002), the US said that a legislative proposal relating
to Section 211 has been introduced in the current US Congress. The
a dispute concerning US anti-dumping measures on certain hot-rolled
steel products from Japan, another long-standing item on the DSB surveillance
agenda, the US said that on 22 November 2002, the US Department of Commerce
issued a new final determination in the hot-rolled steel anti-dumping
duty investigation that the US said implements the rulings and recommendations
of the DSB with respect to the calculation of anti-dumping margins in
that investigation. It said that the
yet another surveillance item, concerning Section 110(5) of the US Copyright