PITTSBURGH, April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard released the following statement today after learning that the High Level Dialogue at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was unable to advance a global framework to address steel overcapacity.
"Today the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) learned that China refused to join in developing a comprehensive multilateral framework to reign in overcapacity in the steel sector. China is the single largest contributor to overcapacity in the sector as it has fueled the rise of its domestic steel companies through a combination of subsidies and other support.
China's policies have decimated U.S. steel producers and led to the layoff of more than 13,500 workers. Last week, the USTR held two days of hearings on this topic and witness after witness gave testimony on the crisis in the sector.
"When China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), proponents argued that it would lead to that country's transformation to a more market-based approach. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. In fact, in recent years, China has backslid on some of the few reforms it had announced. China has repeatedly announced its intention to reduce overcapacity in the steel sector, but the facts speak louder than words. Its capacity has continued to grow.
"The Obama Administration made clear that effective action was needed. China's refusal to commit to specific and timely actions sets the stage for trade actions around the globe. The USW will work closely with the administration as plans are developed.
"The OECD meeting may have been the last-ditch opportunity to develop a framework for multilateral overcapacity disciplines. Now the time for talk has ended. Action is needed. Too many lives and livelihoods are at stake as well as the national security of the United States."
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: Holly Hart (202) 778-4384
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)