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Serious flaws exist in distribution of Byrd Amendment subsidies, GAO report shows

[JURIST] Two-thirds of the $1 billion distributed to US companies from 2001 to 2004 under the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA) [text], otherwise known as the Byrd Amendment, went to only three industries - ball bearings, candles and steel - according to a Government Accountability Office report [PDF text] released Monday. The law allows US companies who have successfully alleged unfair pricing claims against foreign competitors to get the benefit of higher penalty tariffs placed on competitors, as well as receiving the actual proceeds from the tariff. The World Trade Organization has held the law to be a violation of global trade rules [JURIST report] and has authorized certain countries to impose up to $134 million in retaliatory tariffs [JURIST report] on a wide range of US exports. Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Bill Thomas said the law "has provided windfall subsidies to a handful of large corporations while other US companies have paid the price." However, the law is unlikely to be repealed [JURIST report] because it has strong support in Congress. AP has more.

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