House repeals Byrd, Senate fate uncertain

Nov 18, 2005 | 04:39 AM | Scott Robertson

A narrow vote by the House of Representatives to repeal the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act, also known as the Byrd Amendment, is being hailed by steel consumers and importers and derided by North American producers.

Those on the production side are heartened, however, by the U.S. Senate's passage of a resolution urging World Trade Organization negotiators not to weaken U.S. trade laws.

The repeal of the Byrd Amendment, which provides tariff monies collected by the U.S. Treasury to companies ruled to have been materially injured by low-priced imports, is far from certain. The House voted 217 to 215 Friday to repeal the amendment, which was part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The Budget Reconciliation Bill (H.R.4241) now heads to a House-Senate conference committee.

David Phelps, president of the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS), Washington, an organization representing importers of steel products, said the AIIS strongly supports repeal of the Byrd Amendment, named for Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D., W.Va.), who authored the legislation in 2001.....

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