WTO panel rules Mexico unfairly imposed antidumping tariffs on U.S. rice
GENEVA – A World Trade Organization panel ruled Tuesday that Mexico had unfairly imposed antidumping tariffs on U.S. rice, rejecting a Mexican appeal against a previous ruling.Mexico imposed the tariffs on U.S. white long grain rice in June 2002, claiming it was being sold in Mexico at unfairly low prices, damaging Mexican producers.U.S. officials raised the issue before the WTO a year later. In its ruling, the appellate body said Mexico must bring its measures into line with WTO rules, confirming an earlier WTO ruling from June 2005.U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman hailed the decision as a “great result” for U.S. rice farmers.”We are pleased with today’s report, which confirms our view that Mexico’s determination was inconsistent with its WTO obligations,” Portman said.”While trade remedy laws are an essential part of the international trading system, they must be used in accordance with the rules. Mexico’s determination breached those rules, and we believe that disadvantaged our rice farmers,” he said.The WTO appeals panel upheld previous findings that Mexico had based its analysis of economic harm to its producers on outdated information, as well as failing to examine some of the data it collected.The report also said Mexico improperly applied its antidumping tariffs against two U.S. exporters that were not dumping.It also found that several provisions of Mexico’s trade laws were inconsistent with WTO rules, and said they must be brought into line.”We are also pleased with the findings against Mexico’s trade law,” Portman said. “These findings will help improve access for U.S. exports in general to Mexico’s market.”Mexico’s Economy Department had no immediate comment.The decision cannot be appealed.In 2002, Mexico imported $103 million in rice from the United States, making it the largest foreign market for U.S. rice. The figure was $183 million for 2004.