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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 16:57 GMT
EU warns of sanctions on US trade
Shipping containers
The EU won the right to impose trade tariffs earlier this year
The European Union has threatened to impose sanctions on a number of US imports unless Washington repeals its anti-dumping law.

Trade tariffs could be imposed early next year if the so-called Byrd Amendment is not repealed, EU spokeswoman Arancha Gonzalez said.

The amendment allows fines paid by firms who dump goods to be given to the companies that made the complaint.

The World Trade Organisation ruled in 2002 that the amendment was illegal.

The outgoing US Congress "has this week and the next" to repeal it, Ms Gonzalez said.


The EU presented the WTO with a list of products that could be hit with extra duties, focusing on what Ms Gonzalez described as sensitive items which "could help Congress focus its mind on compliance".

The list includes textiles, sweet corn and heavy machinery.

India, Japan and South Korea have also submitted lists of potential targets, including fish, nuts, apples, soap and glassware, the Associated Press news agency reported.

The EU and seven other countries won the right to retaliate against US duties under the amendment in August.

The WTO ruled that they could introduce measures which penalised the US for up to 72% of the revenue raised and distributed through the controversial amendment.

A final deadline for applying the trade sanctions will be set at a meeting with the WTO in Geneva on 24 November.

The EU, Japan, Canada, Brazil, India, Mexico, Chile and South Korea argue that Byrd Amendment gives US companies an incentive to complain and is therefore against WTO anti-dumping agreements.

The US believes that companies which export products at a price below what they normally charge on their home market puts unfair competition on domestic producers.

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