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Retaliation Alert

U.S. Retaliations

Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 provides the United States with the authority to enforce trade agreements, resolve trade disputes and open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services. Section 301 is the principal statutory authority under which the United States may impose trade sanctions on foreign countries that either violate trade agreements or otherwise maintain laws or practices that are unjustifiable and restrict U.S. commerce. When an investigation involves an alleged violation of a trade agreement (such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement or the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)), United States Trade Representative (USTR) must follow the consultation and dispute settlement procedures set out in that agreement. If the United States finds it necessary to increase duties because of a violation of the WTO, USTR will seek authority from the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body to suspend trade concessions previously granted to the foreign country. Such actions include increasing import duties.


Recently Closed

Current Retaliatory Actions


The EU ban of imports of meat and meat products derived from cattle to which any of six hormones have been administered for growth promotional purposes has effectively blocked U.S. beef from entering the European Community market since 1989. Both a WTO panel and the Appellate Body ruled that the ban was inconsistent with the EU's WTO obligations under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures agreement. The EU was given until May 13, 1999 to come into compliance with the WTO rulings. The EU did not lift the ban on hormone-treated beef by the WTO deadline. In response, the United States requested and received authorization from the WTO to retaliate against the EU. The United States began to impose prohibitive duties in the order of 100 percent ad volorem tariffs on 34 products from across the EU in July 1999.

Federal Register Notice(s)

Recently Closed Cases

UKRAINE OPTICAL MEDIA PIRACY (January 2002 to August 2005)

In 2001, the U.S. government identified Ukraine as a Priority Foreign Country (PFC) in the National Trade Estimate (NTE) report to Congress because Ukrainian laws and enforcement mechanisms did not adequately protect optical media products (e.g. CDs and DVDs) from piracy. Shortly after the PFC designation, the U.S. government opened a Section 301 investigation. The investigation led to the U.S. government's decision to revoke Ukraine's GSP status and impose prohibitive duties in the order of 100 percent ad valorem tariffs on Ukrainian exports to the United States. The total value of the Ukrainian products subject to additional duties was $75 million, which was the amount of U.S. commercial value lost because of the Ukraine's inadequate protection against piracy. The additional tariffs were levied against 23 products and went into effect on January 23rd, 2002.

In July 2005, the Ukrainian government passed a package of important amendments to its Laser-readable Disc Law that would increase the protection of optical media products against piracy. After reviewing the details of the law, the U.S. government decided to suspend the additional duties being levied against Ukrainian products. The suspension became effective on August 30th, 2005. Ukraine's GSP status has not been restored, but is under review. In addition, the U.S. government will be monitoring the implementation and enforcement of the amendments to the Laser-readable Disc Law through an Out-of-Cycle Review.

Federal Register Notice(s)

Links to Web sites outside the U.S. federal government or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names within the International Trade Administration Web sites are for the convenience of the user. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the U.S. Commerce Department of any private sector Web site, product, or service.

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