Legislation would shift trade investigation costs
Bipartisan legislation has recently been reintroduced in the U.S. Senate to protect small and medium-sized businesses from import dumping and unfair subsidies including those impacted in agriculture.
Sponsored by Senators Gary Peters of Michigan, a Democrat, and North Carolina Republican Richard Burr, the Self-Initiation Trade Enforcement Act would set up a permanent task force within the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration to investigate dumping and subsidies on imported goods.
Peters says the Commerce Department has the authority to launch investigations into these practices, but rarely does so. Instead, the start of investigation comes at the request of industry, such as with what has been done for tart cherries, blueberries, cucumbers, squash and asparagus, and costs producers and small businesses millions of dollars.
The bill is supported by several ag groups including the Cherry Marketing Institute and Michigan Farm Bureau.