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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 06:28 GMT 07:28 UK
US hit by EU over anti-dumping
EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson
Fines will continue as long as the US fails to meet WTO rules
US imports have been hit with a further $9.1m (4.9m; 7.2m euros) in tariffs from the European Union for breaking World Trade Organisation rules.

The move comes as the US continues to benefit from the Byrd amendment.

The anti-dumping amendment lets US firms raise a levy from competitors' goods which it deems to be too cheap.

The amendment was ruled illegal over a year ago and repealed in February, but US firms are expected to benefit from it for a further two years.

Europeans paying more

This latest penalty brings the total extra tariffs imposed upon the US to $36.9m.

Peter Mandelson - the EU trade commissioner - has said that while the trade dispute has been resolved, US firms are still receiving payments.

"As long as the distributions [of payments] continue, the US will not be in compliance with WTO rules", the Commission stated.

The US was given until the end of 2003 to comply with a 2002 ruling by the WTO which ruled the Byrd amendment illegal.

But the US failed to comply with the rule, allowing the EU as well as seven other countries - Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Japan, Korea and Mexico - to fine the US.

The levy has forced European consumers to pay a higher price for US clothing, textile, machinery, paper goods and sweetcorn than for non-US goods.

Since the Byrd amendment was passed in 2000, manufacturers in the metals and food businesses among others, have been the recipients of billions of dollars in payments.

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