The World Trade Organization has cited the U.S. law as illegal and it's been the center of trade disputes between the U.S. and Canada. But, by 2007, it will be wiped out.

The law is known as the Byrd amendment, which has driven anti-dumping trade issues. Under the amendment, if U.S. government officials find that American companies are being harmed by imported goods being "dumped" at low prices, any related duties that are collected would be distributed to the companies versus the federal government.

However, as part of the government's budget bill passed before the holiday recess, both the House and Senate voted to repeal the amendment named for Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)

The Senate’s vote did delay the repeal for two years, which ultimately was necessary to pass the repeal. Meanwhile, U.S. companies will continue to receive duties collected. Since the law's enactment in 2000, U.S. companies have collected more than $1.25 billion.

Other countries, including Canada and the European Union, have retaliated by placing tariffs on U.S. goods, including paper, clothing, wine and machinery. It has totaled $114 million in 2005. Canadian and E.U. officials will decide whether to keep tariffs in place or end duties before the law is repealed. 

The Byrd amendment is the law that the U.S. pork industry used to challenge Canadian hogs entering the United States. The U.S. International Trade Commission filed a preliminary affirmative injury decision in April 2004, finding that Canadian live-hog imports were hurting U.S. producers.

In a later ruling, the U.S. Commerce Department determined the subsidies that Canadian pork producers receive are not illegal, yet it issued a preliminary ruling to impose antidumping duties on Canadian live-hog imports to the tune of 14 percent.

In an April 2005 final ruling, the ITC ruled that Canadian hogs did not harm U.S. producers, which triggered a repeal of the duty. Had the decision held, estimates suggest that U.S. pork entities filing the suit could have received as much as $60 million from duties.

Source: Washington Post