13 Feb 2020
USTR Change Could Lead to Higher CV Duties on Various Suppliers
A recent regulatory change will make it easier for the United States to impose countervailing duties on imports from Brazil, India, South Africa and a number of other countries. Hong Kong and mainland China are not affected by this change, however.
Under the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and U.S. law implementing that agreement, WTO member countries that have not yet reached the status of a developed country are entitled to special treatment for purposes of CV measures. Specifically, the United States must terminate a CV duty investigation involving such a country if (i) the amount of the subsidy is two percent or less, compared to the normal de minimis threshold of one percent, or (ii) the volume of subsidised imports from that country is less than four percent of total imports, compared to the normal threshold of three percent, unless the aggregate volume of imports from countries whose individual volumes are less than four percent exceeds nine percent (normally seven percent).
In 1998 USTR published a rule designating the WTO member countries eligible for such de minimis treatment. Effective 10 February, USTR has removed that rule and revised its list of eligible countries. Countries that have seemingly been removed from the list include Albania, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Malta, Thailand, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Panama, Romania, St. Kitts & Nevis, Slovenia, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam.