U.S. and international trade law provide authority and mechanisms outlining the procedures used to enforce trade agreements and resolve trade disputes. In many trade disputes, countries are able to come to a mutually acceptable agreement on how to resolve the dispute. When agreement cannot be reached and an unfair trade practice continues to be applied, under the auspices of international law, countries may be allowed to retaliate or impose prohibitive duties on the imports from the country promulgating the unfair trade practice.
The list of products on which a country raises import duties is called a "retaliation list." Manufacturing and Services' Office of Trade Policy Analysis is responsible for developing all U.S. retaliation lists implemented by the United States Trade Representative. In addition, OTPA analyzes the economic impact of retaliation lists implemented by foreign countries against the United States.
For a list of current and past retaliatory actions involving the United States:
Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 provides the United States with the authority to enforce trade agreements, resolve trade disputes and open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services.
The Dispute Settlement Understanding, part of the Uruguay Round Agreement of 1995, established a formal (binding) dispute settlement process for members to address trade practices that fail to comply with commitments in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO). There have been over 300 cases brought before panels of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body since 1995. The United States has been a complainant (brought the case) in 94 cases and a respondent in 109 cases (as of February 2010).