Combest, Stenholm Urge President's Use of Newest Trade Tool

Sep 14, 2000

Combest, Stenholm Urge President's Use of Newest Trade Tool
Carousel Retaliation adds teeth to trade agreements

Urging the president to build on bi-partisan congressional support for maintaining an aggressive U.S. trade strategy, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX) and Ranking Minority Member Charlie Stenholm (D-TX) have formally requested that the president provide a briefing for the Agriculture Committee on the overdue implementation of the Carousel Retaliation Act.

Citing the law's June 19 implementation date, both of Carousel's original sponsors highlight the need for quick and decisive implementation as an essential tool to ensure European compliance with recent trade rulings favoring the United States.  The European Union continues to block the entry of American beef and ignores rulings against trade restrictions hurting U.S. banana companies.

Combest and Stenholm note the record of successful cooperation between Congress and the president on permanent normal trade relations with China — which will open China's markets to American farmers.

"The Carousel Retaliation Act demonstrates U.S. resolve to maintain a credible WTO enforcement mechanism that brings down unfair barriers to U.S. exports.  U.S. farmers, ranchers and other workers deserve full access to foreign markets and vigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws," wrote Combest and Stenholm in a July 28 request for the president's implementation of Carousel provisions.  The chairman and ranking member underscored in their September 7 letter to the president requesting the briefing that, "We believe quick and decisive implementation of the provision is the best way to encourage European compliance with recent WTO decisions on beef and bananas."

Carousel provisions allow the United States a rotating option of sanctions that apply maximum economic pressure on trading partners from within their own countries with trade restrictions on products headed to U.S. shores.  Every six months, at each turn of the "carousel," nations that refuse to abide by dispute rulings will have a different business and production sector of their economy complaining to their governments about higher tariffs against their goods.