Senators, law firms lash out at Byrd repayment demand

Dec 16, 2008 | 11:10 AM | Diana Schwaeble

The decision by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revenue division to demand the repayment of some Byrd Amendment payouts has come under fire from U.S. senators and law firms, who have described it as "indefensible" and "incomprehensible."

The CBP wrote to some domestic manufacturers last month asking for repayment of funds collected from companies in Canada and Mexico between 2001 and 2005 (AMM, Dec. 8). The funds were received under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000, commonly known as the Byrd Amendment.

The amount of funds requested to be returned from companies in the steel, lumber and cement industries is understood to total about $92 million.

A group of 14 U.S. senators and a coalition of law firms sent separate letters to the CBP. The senators have asked that the decision be rescinded, while the law firms have requested an extension of the 30-day repayment deadline set in the CBP's Nov. 28 letter.....

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