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WASHINGTON (Kyodo) A bearing maker affiliated with Toyota has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. government over the controversial antidumping law known as the Byrd amendment.

Koyo Corp. of U.S.A. filed the complaint last month with the U.S. Court of International Trade, claiming that distributions of collected punitive duties to affected domestic firms under the Byrd amendment violate the U.S. constitution and should be immediately nullified, according to a copy of the petition dated Sept. 25.

The U.S. decided to repeal the Byrd amendment in February amid strong criticism both at home and overseas, but it will remain in force until next Oct. 1.

Koyo, based in North Carolina, is urging the court to nullify the law because collected duties are distributed only to those companies that have requested an antidumping probe and supported it, giving them “competitive advantages” and violating freedom of equal protection under the Constitution.

“As a domestic producer of the products covered by the subject bearing orders, Koyo U.S.A. is in the zone of protected interest” under the antidumping law, but was denied distribution of the duties along with some other domestic bearing makers, the petition says.

Koyo, a U.S. subsidiary of the Toyota group’s parts maker Jtekt Corp., headquartered in Nagoya, did not support the underlying antidumping investigations.

Against this backdrop, the petition says the government’s method of duty distributions “violates the Equal Protection Doctrine (under the constitution) by impermissibly discriminating between similarly situated domestic producers and denying a benefit to certain of those domestic producers,” the petition says.

The U.S. decision to end the Byrd amendment came some three years after the World Trade Organization ruled in January 2003 that the law infringes on its rules and urged the U.S. to repeal it.

The WTO also allowed retaliatory measures by members that filed complaints against the U.S., leading Japan, the European Union and Mexico to slap punitive tariffs on U.S. goods.

Japan imposes 15 percent retaliatory tariffs on U.S. ball bearings and steel products.

Jtekt was established in January through a merger of Koyo Seiki Co. and Toyoda Machine Works Ltd.

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