AISI Urges More Aggressive Actions by the U.S. Government to Address China's Non-Compliance with its WTO Commitments

China’s trade-distorting practices have harmed U.S. steel producers

For Immediate Release
October 3, 2012

Washington, D.C. — More than 10 years after it acceded to the WTO, China continues to fail to comply with its WTO commitments, instead engaging in a policy of state capitalism that is causing severe harm to American steel producers and other U.S. manufacturers,  Kevin M. Dempsey, senior vice president, public policy and general counsel of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), said in testimony delivered today before the United States Trade Representative’s Trade Policy Staff Committee.   He urged the U.S. government to take more aggressive actions to address China’s trade-distorting practices.

"The current U.S.-China trade relationship is taking a tremendous toll on U.S. manufacturers," Dempsey said.  "Over the last decade, the U.S. trade deficit with China has more than tripled, the United States has lost millions of manufacturing jobs, thousands of U.S. factories have been shuttered, and the American steel industry has been severely disrupted.  The United States must take much bolder and more imaginative steps to address this chronic problem." 


Click here to view full AISI testimony

Click here to read the full comments submitted by AISI to the TPSC.


Dempsey described numerous trade abuses by the Government of China in direct violation of the terms of its accession to the WTO, including:

  • Providing massive government subsidies to Chinese steel producers, resulting in a tripling of Chinese steel production between 2000 and 2011;
  • Manipulating its value added tax (VAT) system to promote exports of its steel products, and using its VAT rebate system to disadvantage U.S. and other producers;
  • Continuing government intervention to direct the commercial decisions of its state-owned enterprises (SOE), including state-owned steel producers, in violation of China’s pledge to the WTO to allow market forces to operate;

 "The fact that China has not fully complied with its WTO obligations underscores the importance of effective enforcement of U.S. trade remedy laws," Dempsey said.   Calling for decisive action, he urged the U.S. government to:  1) Continue to treat China as a "non-market" economy for purposes of U.S. antidumping laws; 2) Begin to countervail subsidies that were bestowed prior to China’s WTO accession; 3) Ensure that Chinese companies are not circumventing U.S. trade remedy laws by, among other things, shipping merchandise through third countries; and 4) Effectively exercise its authority, under the WTO and U.S. law, to impose product-specific safeguards on Chinese imports where appropriate.

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 124 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent approximately over three quarters 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
202.452.7115 / ngravatt@steel.org