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International Trade Partner Tim Brightbill Weighs in on Export Restrictions and Their Effect on the U.S. Trade Industry

MetalMiner
September 23, 2011

International Trade Practice partner Tim Brightbill discussed export restrictions and other issues facing the U.S. trade industry in an interview with MetalMiner. Export quotas and taxes placed on raw materials by Asian countries are one example of restrictions that industry experts say need to be eliminated. China promised to eliminate its export quotas and export taxes after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), but has failed to do so.  This forced the United States, European Union and Mexico to file a WTO case against the country’s use of quotas and taxes on  raw materials essential to the U.S. metal industry.  The United States won in an important panel decision, which China has appealed to the WTO Appellate Body.

Now it is important for the United States to address the issue of export taxes in free trade agreements, such as the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. “The U.S. has consistently said, ‘if you sign an FTA with us, you must get rid of your export taxes,’” Mr. Brightbill said. Two of the TPP countries that impose export taxes are Malaysia and Vietnam, which has a 25 percent tax on scrap exports and 40 percent tax on iron ore exports. Mr. Brightbill urged U.S. negotiators “to get the complete ban” on such restrictions.