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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 ::

    EDITORIAL: The Byrd lottery - Chicago Tribune Knight Ridder
    The Byrd Amendment was ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization in 2002. Because Congress has failed to repeal the amendment, the WTO has authorized Canada, the European Union, Japan and Mexico to exact $114 million in retaliatory penalties on U.S. exports ranging from chewing gum to dairy products. That amount soon could soar even higher because of a festering trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada over softwood lumber. Some $3.7 billion in Byrd penalties has been assessed against Canadian lumber but not yet distributed. If that money were paid out to U.S. firms, Canada's retaliatory penalties would rise significantly.

    Keeping Byrd on the books when it violates global trade laws undermines this nation's efforts to persuade other countries to open their markets to U.S. firms. The International Trade Commission has plenty of power to enforce fair trade laws here. The Byrd Amendment has been nothing but a big Lotto.
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