WTO Byrd win

THE World Trade Organisation’s appellate body has upheld Australia’s earlier win in September against the United States subsidy program know as the Byrd Amendment.

The body upheld that linking subsidy entitlements to the existence of dumping or subsidisation of goods by other countries was contrary to WTO rules.

Under the Byrd Amendment, otherwise referred to as the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000, antidumping and countervailing duties collected by the US are distributed to competing US manufacturers of the same product.

In its first year more than $US200 million was paid to those involved in the manufacture of steel and pasta. It was the largest dispute brought before the body involving a joint action of 11 WTO members – Brazil, Canada, Chile, the European Communities, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Thailand. The US now has possibly more than 12 months to implement the body’s main findings.

Outokumpu contract

THE Perth office of Outokumpu Technology Pty Ltd has received a boost to its order book after winning a contract for a laterite nickel processing plant in the Philippines.

The $4 million order is to supply all thickeners for the Rio Tuba laterite nickel and cobalt mineral processing plant controlled by Coral Bay Nickel Corporation, a joint venture headed by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd.

The order, the first for Outokumpu involving all thickeners in the laterite nickel circuit, came for the Japanese engineering company JGC Corporation. Design and drafting work will be carried out at the company’s Perth and Sydney offices with fabrication work scheduled in the Philippines by the second quarter of 2003.

Canada tax protocol

THE Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, Senator Helen Coonan, has announced that the amended protocol to the Australian-Canada double taxation convention has applied from January 1.

Senator Coonan said the protocol would assist in enhancing the framework for trade and investment relations with Canada.

“There are approximately 100 Australian companies active in the Canadian market with sizeable investment in breweries, mining, transportation and packaging,” she said.

The agreement was given the force of Australian law on December 11 through the International Tax Agreements Amendment Act (No.2) 2002.

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