China's WTO Non-Compliance Continues to Pose a Problem for U.S. Manufacturers, AISI Warns USTR

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 22, 2009 – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), on behalf of its U.S. member companies, submitted comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) documenting China’s non-compliance with the commitments it made upon its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and calling for “decisive action.” Of main concern, AISI points out that China’s non-compliance with its WTO obligations remains a severe and growing problem for American steel producers and other U.S. manufacturers. 

“In each submission (to the TPSC – 2004-2008), AISI has documented how China has used subsidies and other forms of government support to build an enormous steel industry in violation of market principles and China’s WTO commitments,” reads AISI’s comments.

AISI goes on to point out that:

• China’s massive government-directed steel industry continues to grow;
• Chinese steel exports continue to injure the U.S. steel industry;
• Chinese steel production practices cause environmental damage;
• Decisive action against trade-distorting Chinese steel policies should be taken.

In addition, AISI notes that its submission does not attempt to identify and discuss every outstanding issue with respect to China’s WTO compliance; however, there are several issues of particular importance to U.S. steel producers.   These issues include: (1) subsides; (2) state-owned enterprises; (3) government policies distorting the market for raw materials; (4) currency manipulation; (5) China’s continued treatment as a non-market economy; (6) enforcement of the China-specific safeguard provision (Section 421); (7) product safety issues; and, (8) intellectual property rights.

The comments highlight the U.S. Administration’s need to address the fact that “today, China is on pace to produce over 500 million MT of crude steel and has captured 48.5 percent of global market share. These facts show that the United States’ approach has not been effective in bringing China into compliance. Rather, China is continuing to use trade-distorting measures to build a massive steel industry that is injuring the U.S. steel industry, the U.S. economy, and the environment.” To read the full submission, click here.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the material of choice.  AISI plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent over 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at www.steel.org.

Contact:
Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115