After Trade Remedies Against China Ruled Illegal, Sens. Brown, Portman Urge Congressional Leadership to Expedite Legislation that Would Help Protect American Jobs

With Jobs at Stake and Threat of Revoked Duties Looming, Ohio Senators Urge Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner to Swiftly Consider Potential Ways and Means, Finance Committee Bills That Aim to Clarify Countervailing Duty Rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Following a December ruling by a federal appeals court that would hamstring the ability of the U.S. to fight back against cheap Chinese imports, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today urged leadership in the House and the Senate to expedite legislation that would clarify that the Commerce Department can impose tariffs and other duties against Chinese imports that benefit from illegal export subsidies.

“Countervailing duties are a critical tool industries have to fight unfair trade and protect jobs.  Trade remedies that help protect Ohio jobs, manufacturers, and small businesses,” Brown said. “Removing the ability of the Commerce Department to apply countervailing duties to illegally-subsidized imports from China puts thousands of Ohio jobs at risk. Sen. Portman and I agree that protecting Ohio jobs from China’s unfair trade practices is of the highest importance—and that’s why we are urging Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner to bring forward legislation that will restore the ability of our government to stand up for American jobs through appropriate trade remedies.”

“Congress should work to ensure that Ohio workers and families have protection against unfair trade practices from countries such as China,” said Portman, who initiated the first-ever legal case to be litigated and won against China before the World Trade Organization because of China's unfair treatment of U.S.-made auto parts. “These duties were enacted only after a comprehensive investigation, and over a dozen Chinese products directly impacting Ohio are currently subjected to such treatment.  Washington needs to show it’s serious about protecting American workers from unfair international competition, by continuing this practice that protects American workers.”

“We write you to urge swift consideration of legislation to allow our government to defend American industries against unfairly subsidized imports from countries with non-market economies,” wrote Brown and Portman. “Should the [Court of Appeals’] ruling become final, it will have severe economic and employment effects for thousands of workers employed by more than 80 companies in as many as 38 states. This includes more than a dozen Ohio companies in industries as diverse as paper, steel, tires, aluminum, and magnets who would be adversely impacted by this ruling if prompt action is not taken.

“We understand that the leadership of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee are currently considering legislation to clarify that the CVD law can be applied to subsidized goods from non-market economies, and that the Administration is reviewing all options, including a request for a rehearing by the full appellate court,” the senators continued. “We support these efforts to draft targeted legislation, and we would urge our colleagues to pass this legislation expeditiously and without unnecessary delay.”

In December 2011, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit restricted the ability of the U.S. government to fight back against illegal trade practices from non-market economies such as China. The court ruled that because China is a “non-market economy,” countervailing duties imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department on certain Chinese imports are illegal.  Shortly thereafter, Brown announced his plans to work with his colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee to introduce a bill that would allow the Commerce Department to legally apply tariffs and other countervailing duties to Chinese imports that benefit from illegal export subsidies.  Senator Portman called the ruling a “step backward for Ohio workers and families” and immediately called upon the Administration to seek Congressional authority to continue this practice.  

China joined the World Trade Organization ten years ago. In joining the WTO, China promised to remove trade barriers, increase transparency, and ensure more stringent protection of intellectual property rights. A copy of the letter is below.

The Honorable John Boehner

Speaker

U.S. House of Representatives

H-232, U.S. Capitol

 

The Honorable Harry Reid

Majority Leader

United States Senate

S-221, U.S. Capitol

 

Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid:

 

We write you to urge swift consideration of legislation to allow our government to defend American industries against unfairly subsidized imports from countries with non-market economies.

 

On December 19, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the Commerce Department does not have the legal authority to impose countervailing duties (CVDs) on subsidized imports from these countries, such as China and Vietnam. Should this ruling become final, it will have severe economic and employment effects for thousands of workers employed by more than 80 companies in as many as 38 states. This includes more than a dozen Ohio companies in industries as diverse as paper, steel, tires, aluminum, and magnets who would be adversely impacted by this ruling if prompt action is not taken.

 

We understand that the leadership of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee are currently considering legislation to clarify that the CVD law can be applied to subsidized goods from non-market economies, and that the Administration is reviewing all options, including a request for a rehearing by the full appellate court.

 

We support these efforts to draft targeted legislation, and we would urge our colleagues to pass this legislation expeditiously and without unnecessary delay.

 

Thank you for your consideration and we stand ready to work with you to defend our government’s authority to defend workers and manufacturers from unfair trade.

 

More than 20 Ohio companies have been represented in industry petitions for relief through countervailing duties after subsidized Chinese imports have undermined their businesses. A listing by county follows.

 

Ohio Companies Impacted by Countervailing Duties Since China Joined WTO

COUNTY

COMPANY NAME

Ashtabula

Welded Tube

Butler

Magnode Corp


Smart Paper

Clermont

Electrodyne

Columbiana

Pennex Aluminum

 

Zarbana Industries


Tubetech North America

Franklin

Central Aluminum


Ohio Steel Industries

Hamilton

Aluminum Extruded Shapes, Inc


PMCO


Ampac

Licking

Kaiser Aluminum

Logan

National Extrusion & Manufacturing

Lorain

U.S. Steel


P.C. Campana

Mahoning

Aerolite Extrusion Company

 

Star Extruded Shapes

 

General Extrusions, Incorporated

 

Extrudex Aluminum

 

Astro Shapes

 

V&M Star

Miami

Jackson Tube

Montgomery

Appleton Papers, Incorporated

 

Hayes Lemmerz


NewPage

Ross

P.H. Gladfelter

Shelby

Hydro Aluminum

Stark

American Aluminum Extrusions of Ohio


Timken


Ohio Gratings

Trumbull

BRT Extrusions

 

Wheatland Tube

Warren

Basco


Magnet Technology

Washington

Magnum Magnetics Corporation

Wayne

Holtec Industries

Williams

Titan Tire



Ohio-Related Products Affected

Aluminum Extrusions

Light-Walled Rectangular Pipe and Tube

Certain Seamless Pipe

Certain Steel Grating

Certain Welded Line Pipe

Oil Country Tubular Goods

Raw Flexible Magnets

Polyethylene Retail Carriers Bag

Certain Steel Wheels

Lightweight Thermal Paper

New Pneumatic Off-The-Road Tires

Coated Paper Suitable for High-Quality Print Graphics Using Sheet-Fed Presses

   

 

 

###

Press Contact

(202) 224-3978