Calls on Congress to Fully Fund Administration Trade Enforcement Efforts
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement after the Obama Administration announced that it would challenge China's refusal to comply with its WTO obligations regarding grain-oriented, flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES). GOES is a product made by Steelworker members in USW represented facilities.
"Once again, China demonstrates that it refuses to live by the promises and commitments it made when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Obama Administration's actions today show that they recognize that enforcing international trade laws is important to jobs. We applaud their action and their willingness to pursue China's ongoing cheating.
"The products covered by this action are made by USW members. Although our members make high-quality products at competitive prices, China refuses to open its market to us. Instead, it continues to pursue a one-way trade policy. China's actions in this case alone cost America a quarter- of- a billion dollars in exports.
"After being found to have violated international trade rules by illegally imposing tariffs on U.S. exports, China refused to comply with the WTO's decision. It issued a new determination and simply continued to apply duties on U.S. exports.
"It is time for China to live by the rules or face the consequences. The American people are sick and tired of China cheating while we continue to open our market to their illegally traded and unfairly priced products. Subsidies, currency manipulation and intellectual property theft represent just a fraction of China's protectionist and predatory policies that have allowed them to build up huge trade deficits, decimate our manufacturing sector, steal our jobs and fuel rising income inequality here in the United States.
"The USW has worked closely the past several years with the Obama Administration, especially the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in helping to identify and fight unfair foreign trade practices. While budget pressures face all agencies, the USTR's enforcement efforts should be fully funded by Congress because enforcing these laws saves jobs and creates new opportunities. Congress must act quickly to provide the Administration all the funds it needs to enforce our trade laws."
The USW is the largest private-sector union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies. For more information: www.usw.org.
Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)