WASHINGTON - U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab welcomed Mexico’s revocation of antidumping duties on U.S. long grain white rice. Mexico took this action after the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed with the United States that the duties were contrary to WTO rules.
"We are pleased that Mexico has revoked the antidumping duties on U.S. rice," said Ambassador Schwab. "We thought the duties were inconsistent with WTO rules, and the WTO agreed. Mexico was the largest export market for U.S. rice in 2005. The action by Mexico is a great result for U.S. rice farmers, and another example of how our trade agreements and their enforcement serve U.S. interests."
In addition to finding against the antidumping duties, the WTO also found that several provisions of Mexico’s antidumping and countervailing duty law are inconsistent with the WTO Antidumping Agreement and the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. Mexico has until December 20, 2006 to implement the WTO’s findings against its law.
Mexico imposed antidumping duties on U.S. long grain white rice in June 2002. In addition, Mexico passed amendments to its antidumping and countervailing duty laws in December 2002.
The United States requested a WTO dispute settlement panel in September 2003, and the panel issued its final report finding in favor of the United States on June 6, 2005. Mexico appealed the panel’s report on July 20, 2005. The WTO Appellate Body affirmed the panel’s decision on November 29, 2005.
The U.S. request challenged numerous apparent violations of Mexico’s obligations under the Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (Antidumping Agreement), the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement), and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994). These challenges related to various procedures and methodologies Mexican authorities used in the rice investigation, as well as to the requirements of the Mexican legislation enacted subsequent to the imposition of antidumping duties.
The proceeding addressed such issues as the data relied on by the Mexican authorities in completing the investigation, the methodology used in determining whether the Mexican industry was injured by reason of dumped imports, the failure to terminate the investigation when no dumping or injury were found, the application of improper "facts available" dumping duties to U.S. exporters, and the lack of transparency in the determinations. The challenged provisions of the Mexican law require Mexico to take WTO-inconsistent actions, such as automatically applying excessively high antidumping margins on firms and denying firms the right to obtain reviews of the levels of duties assessed on their exports.
After the WTO Appellate Body issued its findings, the Mexican antidumping authority reexamined the basis for the antidumping order. The revocation is the result of new findings by the Mexican authority that U.S. long-grain white rice is not being dumped.