May 29, 2014
By Leo W. Gerard, USW International President
Pittsburgh, PA–United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard released the following statement today after reports of another win against China in a trade enforcement action at the World Trade Organization. This case involves the illegal tariffs imposed by China on exports of U.S.-produced cars and trucks.
It is time for China to start playing by the rules. Since joining the WTO in 2001, it has repeatedly violated the rules by adopting practices to protect its market from imports while systematically subsidizing its exports and dumping them into foreign markets. This is the third recent win for the United States against China’s illegally imposed tariffs on U.S. products.
The auto sector and the supply chain that supports it is one of America’s most important job engines. Some 350,000 USW members make products for vehicles, including steel, aluminum and plastics goods as well as glass, tires and other materials and parts. China’s protectionist practices have robbed America of export opportunities and jobs. China expects America to keep its market open even though it has consistently flaunted the rules for more than 12 years.
When America seeks to level the playing field against China by having them live up to the rules it agreed to when joining the WTO, China too often retaliates. Today, China was found to have broken the rules again. The Administration is right to applaud this victory, while continuing to aggressively enforce our trade laws to make sure American workers get a fair shake.
China’s unfair trade practices have left behind too many shattered workers’ dreams, shuttered factories and hollowed out communities. It continues to wage war on America’s manufacturing sector and its workers. This win is a sign that our government is resolute in standing up to China’s protectionist and predatory practices, and standing up for America’s workers. When China targets our industries, as it has in so many sectors, we’ve got to stand up for our interests.
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.