WASHINGTON (B)--The United States will not release the new list of EU imports that will be targeted with tariffs until trade officials sort out hundreds of public comments made on the issue, U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky said June 20. USTR had previously set the release deadline for June 19, but Barshefsky's comments indicate it may be delayed further.

The issue involves the practice of "carousel retaliation," which allows the United States to rotate the list of European products to be targeted with tariffs in retaliation for the EU's failure to comply with WTO rulings on the long-running beef and banana trade disputes.

U.S. trade groups say rotating the list of target products makes the retaliation more effective, because it spreads the pain around to a greater number of European industries. In addition, U.S. agricultural groups are lobbying for the list to include products from all 15 EU member countries.

But such lobbying has resulted in USTR receiving more than 400 sets of public comments and congressional requests regarding the carousel list, according to Barshefsky, who briefly spoke to reporters about the issue after testifying at a Senate hearing on dispute resolution.

"We want to act only after having considered what everyone has to say on the subject of which products should go where," Barshefsky said. "So we're proceeding apace, but we will do a thorough job of this before we have a announcement to make."

She refused to estimate when the announcement will be made. On June 19, USTR aides said it was likely to come soon.

Earlier this month, EU officials requested WTO consultations on the issue, saying in its request that that carousel retaliation "creates a chilling effect on the marketplace."

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