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Washington, D.C. - A six-year battle over the exportation of Wyoming's soda ash to India has come to a beneficial conclusion, U.S. Senators Craig Thomas and Mike Enzi announced Tuesday.

The Wyoming Senators pointed to a ruling by the Indian Supreme Court lifting an injunction against U.S. soda ash imports. The court ruled that the injunction, obtained in 1996 by the Indian soda ash industry, was improperly issued by the Indian Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission.

The ruling allows the American Natural Soda Ash Corporation (ANSAC), the U.S. soda ash export cooperative corporation, to recommence its operations to India. ANSAC was accused by the Indian soda ash industry of implementing predatory pricing, designed to monopolize the soda ash industry in India. Indian producers obtained an injunction against ANSAC, effectively cutting off the Indian market to outside imports.

"This decision is long overdue," Thomas and Enzi said. "It is unfortunate that Wyoming's soda ash industry has had to suffer for the last six years. There has never been justification for the injunction, and the decision made by the Indian Supreme Court reaffirms what ANSAC and the American soda ash industry has been saying for years."

Thomas and Enzi worked with Ambassador Robert Zoellick, the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and other members of the trade delegation to open the Indian market. Thomas and Enzi praised Zoellick and said that since taking office in 2001, the USTR has been dogged in their efforts to have the injunction rescinded.

Wyoming has the world's largest deposit of trona, and supplies about 90 percent of the nation's soda ash. Soda ash is used in glassmaking, soap, paper manufacturing, water treatment, and baking soda.

"The folks in Sweetwater County have much reason to celebrate today," the Senators said. "We have overcome a major hurdle, and we are hopeful that this decision will reverse the damage that has been inflicted upon Wyoming's soda ash industry."

The Indian Central Government recently reduced duties against soda ash imports and the Supreme Court's decision vacating the injunction removes the remaining barrier to competitive supplies from the United States.