PITTSBURGH, March 31, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard released the following statement today after the Administration announced new initiatives to address the circumvention and evasion of U.S. trade laws.
"Today's announcement will hopefully help to strengthen American industry by cracking down on foreign trade law cheaters stealing American jobs and opportunity. As a diverse manufacturing union, the USW is the largest, single entity that has consistently fought for effective trade law enforcement to try to save our members' jobs. But, getting a favorable decision from our government is only the start of the difficult and complex task of enforcement.
"Foreign companies and countries that subsidize and dump their products in order to fuel growth will stop at nothing to target the valuable U.S. market. Enforcement is a never-ending task, but it is critical to saving the jobs of millions of Americans in steel, aluminum, tire and many other sectors. For example, farmers and ranchers are also confronted by similar problems.
"Evasion and circumvention are important issues and cheaters are getting more and more inventive in evading U.S. law. During the Section 421 trade relief for U.S. passenger vehicle and light truck tire manufacturers and workers, we estimated that more than 10 million tires may have been imported from China by evading the orders. Our own customs inspectors, however, were not provided with the direction or resources to stop those shipments, despite repeated requests and detailed information.
Similarly, a Chinese entity is accused of trying to evade standing orders on aluminum products by using Mexico, and now Vietnam, as a staging area. Billions of dollars of products and countless American jobs are at risk because of these kinds of spurious actions.
"Customs should be doing its job and providing the resources to enforce our trade laws. Action on this issue should not solely focus on collecting federal revenues. The priority of our government here should be fair trade to protect every job.
"Laws were tightened in a bipartisan effort in the last Congress, and those changes have made a real difference. Expanded authorities and efforts are critical because, without them, other countries will keep flooding our market with their unfairly traded products. Enforcing our trade laws must be a national security priority as predatory trade actions have undermined our industrial base.
"Today's announcements have to be followed by serious, continued and comprehensive action."
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.
CONTACT: Wayne Ranick, 412-562-2444
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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)