AISI Emphasizes the Need for an Aggressive Approach to Address China's Unfair Trade Policies

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    CONTACT: NANCY GRAVATT

October 25, 2011                                                                               202.452.7115 / ngravatt@steel.org

 

Bolder steps, including legislation, are required to level the playing field

Washington, D.C. – AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson emphasized the need for an aggressive approach to address China’s protectionist trade practices in testimony submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee, insisting that bolder steps must be taken and urging the Committee to advance legislation to address currency manipulation and ongoing evasion of U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty orders.  The Committee held a hearing today on the economic relationship between the U.S. and China with Administration officials testifying on how they plan to address China’s trade policies.  In his testimony, Gibson highlighted how China’s reliance on a series of market-distorting trade and industrial policies continues to create serious consequences for American steel producers, other American manufacturers, and the U.S. and world economies.

“The unbalanced U.S.-China economic relationship continues to affect American manufacturing in a very detrimental way,” Gibson stated in his testimony.  “Over the last decade, the U.S. trade deficit with China has more than tripled, soaring from $83 billion in 2000 to over $273 billion in 2010.  Additionally, according to one recent estimate, over the past decade since China joined the WTO, 2.8 million U.S. jobs have been lost or displaced, including 1.9 million in manufacturing.  This bilateral trade deficit is unprecedented, unsustainable and causing serious, long-term damage to our manufacturing base.  Failure to address these issues will only worsen the U.S.-China trade relationship, and reduce economic growth and employment in the United States.”

Issues of particular importance to U.S. steel producers, as highlighted in the AISI testimony, include: currency manipulation, subsidies, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), raw materials, intellectual property rights (IPR), effective enforcement of U.S. trade laws and product safety issues.  Gibson emphasized AISI’s support of two current bills, the “Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act” (H.R. 3057/S. 1619) and the “ENFORCE Act” (H.R. 3057/S. 1133).  The “Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act” would “give U.S. manufacturers the ability to use the existing countervailing duty law to obtain a remedy for injury caused by goods benefiting from currency manipulation as an export subsidy.”  The ENFORCE Act  “will ensure the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses its authority to collect the correct amount of AD/CV duties imposed by law and due to the U.S. Treasury.”  Both pieces of legislation are critical in the fight to combat China’s market distorting practices and to guarantee that U.S. manufacturers are competing on a level playing field.  Gibson urged the House Ways and Means Committee to advance both bills immediately. 

“We need a more proactive, pro-enforcement strategy to address the challenge of trying to compete against ‘China Inc,’ and its version of state-owned and supported ‘capitalism.’  It is long past due to send a clear signal to China that it must comply fully with its WTO obligations and play by the rules,” Gibson said in his testimony.

Click here to read a full copy of Gibson’s testimony.

Click here for a PDF verson of this press release.

 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 preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 118 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 80 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.