GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization will soon begin investigating claims that the United States is still breaking global commerce rules with the way it penalizes ''dumping'' of imports.
The European Union will ask the WTO on Sept. 25 to examine whether Washington has changed its practices to comply with WTO rules after a ruling last year against U.S. dumping fees on about two dozen European goods, ranging from stainless steel to Italian pasta.
The request was listed in an agenda for the WTO dispute settlement body meeting published Friday. The U.S. has agreed not to delay the establishment of an investigative panel, trade officials said.
Dumping occurs when foreign producers export products at below the market price — usually because the exports have been subsidized or in an attempt to corner the market. In certain circumstances, trade rules allow governments to impose additional duties on dumped goods to protect domestic producers.
The WTO has chided the U.S. in disputes with the EU, Canada and others for how it determines what antidumping fees to apply, known in trade jargon as ''zeroing.'' Panels have consistently found that zeroing leads to artificial and inflated margins of dumping, and thus higher duties.
In June, the Geneva-based body authorized a new investigation of U.S. dumping rules on 52 additional products Brussels said were being penalized by the levies.
The U.S. replied that it was already reconsidering how it calculated the fees and called the EU litigation unnecessary. Washington has until December in a separate anti-dumping dispute to inform the WTO how it will adjust its calculations.
WTO cases often take years before reaching a stage where punitive sanctions can be applied. A compliance panel is generally the final hurdle.
The EU lodged its anti-dumping complaint with the WTO in 2003.