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TPD > FTAA > United States Negotiating Positions - Summary > Position

Summary of the United States Negotiating Positions in the FTAA 



Public Summary of U.S. Position

It is the view of the United States that the ability to maintain effective remedies against dumped or subsidized imports is essential to achieving the goal of trade liberalization. Therefore, it is the goal of the United States to ensure that countries can maintain within the FTAA effective trade remedies based on the principles of fair, as well as free, trade. The United States believes that the FTAA Agreement should make no changes to the WTO rules on antidumping and countervailing measures and should ensure the right of each country to maintain and apply trade remedies within the FTAA. In addition, as noted below, we will continue to seek improvements in transparency and due process in AD/CVD proceedings.

The FTAA Negotiating Group on Subsidies, Antidumping and Countervailing Duties is tasked with addressing the use of antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) measures within the FTAA, and identifying possible options for deepening the disciplines on subsidies. There is a significant divergence of views on how to approach these issues within the FTAA.

An alternative approach, which the United States does not support, would establish a set of rules to be applied to the use of antidumping and countervailing duty measures within the FTAA that would be substantially different from the WTO rules, particularly with respect to dumping. Many of the proposed provisions would fundamentally change how dumping and injury are defined and measured. The United States has vigorously opposed such an approach. It has consistently been our position that proposals for substantive changes in the rules governing antidumping and countervailing duty measures should only be addressed within the WTO. There are serious practical, as well as policy, problems with establishing a different AD/CVD regime within the FTAA. However, improvements in transparency and due process might be achieved within the FTAA. Therefore, it is the goal of the United States to maintain the WTO rules on AD/CVD within the FTAA and to seek improvements in transparency and due process in AD/CVD proceedings.

In addition, some countries have proposed that the FTAA Agreement should establish special rules for "smaller economies" or, in some instances, small enterprises. These provisions would, in effect, result in a more liberal approach to the measurement of dumping and injury in the case of smaller economies. The United States recognizes that the FTAA is a complex endeavor, particularly in view of the wide differences in the levels of development and size of economies in our hemisphere, and we recognize the need for accommodation, where appropriate, due to such differences. At the same time, however, we note that the rights and obligations of the FTAA Agreement are to be shared by all countries and that the FTAA agreement is to be single undertaking, i.e., all countries ultimately will have to assume the full set of obligations. Therefore, with regard to any provisions on improved transparency or due process, although technical assistance or transition periods may be appropriate in some cases, we do not contemplate establishing across-the-board exceptions or separate rules for certain economies.

Some countries have proposed provisions that would inject antitrust concepts, such as predatory pricing, into the antidumping rules so that the remedy is much more narrowly circumscribed. In contrast, the United States has strenuously advocated the position that trade remedies and competition rules are founded on different principles and address distinctly different problems. Therefore, it is inappropriate to substitute, or amend, antidumping and countervailing duty remedies with competition rules and we do not support any proposals to do so within the FTAA Agreement.

To date, there has been little done on the issue of deepening subsidy disciplines. Therefore, the United States has proposed a work plan for examining this issue during the next stage of the negotiations. Our goal is to ensure implementation of existing WTO disciplines within the hemisphere and to explore possible options for deepening subsidy disciplines and improving transparency within the FTAA or as hemispheric initiatives within the WTO.

Source: United States Trade Representative