WASHINGTON — The National Grain and Feed Association joined 18 other food and agriculture groups in mid-July to oppose proposed changes to antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) rules they say would “would drastically expand the substantive reach and economic impact of US trade remedy laws,” needlessly creating adverse effects on US agriculture, food production and exports.

The US Department of Commerce in early May issued an AD/CVD rule proposal that would “would revise many of its procedures, codify many areas of its practice, and enhance certain areas of its methodologies and analyses to address price and cost distortions in different capacities. Commerce is seeking public comment on these proposed revisions to the AD and CVD regulations.”

Written comments were due July 10, and the coalition responded that day, arguing that the proposed changes “would jeopardize US agriculture and food product manufacturing output and imperil the exports of these US industries,” as well as “do more harm than good to US production, ultimately increasing the cost of American food production and food price inflation.”

A 10-page, footnoted response was issued by the coalition, which included associations representing seed groups, growers, bakers, refiners, renderers and state agriculture departments. The collective outlined a series of consequences from its perspective, saying the proposed rule would:

  •  Inject new uncertainties into US agriculture and food product manufacturers’ business plans by jeopardizing the supply of critical inputs by increasing AD/CVD duties on imports;
  • Raise costs and risks associated with exporting to the United States to a degree that countries with significant exports to the United States might unilaterally retaliate with tariffs or other trade restrictions on US imports;
  • Prompt other countries to make similar changes to their AD/CVD rules, signaling to US trading partners that social values — including values only weakly related to market dynamics — can be infused into AD/CVD laws, thereby further threatening US exports.

“This is a dangerous message for the United States to send to any of its trading partners, and especially to trading partners with policy priorities, property rights regimes, and notions of human rights that diverge from American ideals,” the coalition said.

The NGFA joined the following groups in submitting opposition to the proposed rule: the American Bakers Association, the American Seed Trade Association, the Corn Refiners Association, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, the Independent Bakers Association, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Fisheries Institute, the National Grain & Feed Association, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Sorghum Producers, the National Turkey Federation, the North American Export Grain Association, the North American Renderers Association, the Northwest Horticultural Council, the Sweetener Users Association, the US Apple Association, the US Dairy Export Council, and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

The full texts ofthe proposed ruleandthe coalition’s commentmay be viewed online.