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International business expert on panel to resolve trade dispute


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Gulfport, Fla. – Stetson University College of Law Professor Peter Fitzgerald has been appointed to a North American Free Trade Agreement bi-national panel that will help solve a trade dispute between the United States and Mexico.

Fitzgerald is one of two Americans on a five-judge panel considering a Mexican challenge to the U.S. Commerce Department’s continued anti-dumping duties on Mexican goods for the oil industry. Anti-dumping duties are special taxes on imports sold below cost.

“Pricing imports below cost – dumping – is regarded as an unfair trade practice because it potentially harms the ability of domestic producers in the U.S. to compete with the importers in the marketplace,” Fitzgerald said. “The government therefore imposes these special import duties to bring the cost of the foreign goods to a U.S. purchaser up to a normal market price.”

Stetson students Stanley K. Kinnett and Casey G. Reeder will serve as Professor Fitzgerald’s assistants with the case.

Panels of this type provide a substitute for review by national courts of trade disputes involving anti-dumping or countervailing duties. The United States has been involved in more than 60 such cases since NAFTA was created in 1994.

Fitzgerald was appointed to the position by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Secretariado del TLCAN Sección Mexicana. This is his second appointment to a NAFTA Chapter 19 bi-national panel. In 2002, he was part of a panel that dealt with a Canadian challenge to anti-dumping duties imposed on American household appliances imported into Canada.

Among his other honors and recognitions, Fitzgerald served as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar and visiting research fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland last year.

More information on Professor Fitzgerald can be found  here.