WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) testified on behalf of Ohio manufacturers before a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee’s subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness. The hearing will examine why federal agencies are having difficulty enforcing U.S. trade laws, specifically those related to anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duties.
A number of Ohio industries, including steel pipe, coated paper, and tire manufacturers, have benefited from successful cases brought before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that resulted in the application of AD and CVD duties to foreign-made imports, particularly those manufactured in China. But according to the Senate Finance Committee, some exporters – from countries like China—have been known to mislabel shipments and reroute goods through third-party countries in an effort to fool customs officials and circumvent U.S. trade laws that have been put in place to prevent unfair foreign trade practices. This undercuts American-made products and causes the Treasury to miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars in tariffs and duties owed by foreign suppliers and importers.
“For a state like Ohio, where manufacturers compete in energy-intensive and trade-exposed sectors, customs enforcement is the critical complement to the enforcement of our trade laws. But when duties on unfairly subsidized or dumped products are evaded, it’s not just cheating. It’s getting caught and then ignoring the penalty,” Brown said.
“I’ve stood before the ITC on behalf of Ohio manufacturers of all sorts of everyday products Americans use—from car tires to steel pipes to the paper used to print a receipt at the cash register. Since 2006, at least twenty industries with ties to Ohio have benefited from successful cases brought before the ITC, resulting in antidumping and countervailing duty applications to foreign-made products,” Brown continued. “But some foreign companies have proven they will go to any lengths to avoid paying duties—and when these duties are so easily evaded, they become meaningless. That’s why we must work to vigorously enforce our trade remedy laws so that manufacturers in Ohio and across America can compete on a level playing field and create and retain jobs.”
Described as “Congress' leading proponent of American manufacturing,” Brown has been a strong advocate for enforcing international trade law. He has testified multiple times before the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) on behalf of steel, aluminum, rubber tire, and paper producers in Ohio during cases that considered whether underpriced imports from countries like China were negatively impacting domestic manufacturers. Positive rulings from the ITC have helped support manufacturing jobs in Ohio, playing an important role in the construction of a new $650 million seamless pipe mill in Youngstown that brought hundreds of jobs to the Mahoning Valley as well as the preservation of tire manufacturing jobs in Findlay and Leavittsburg.