WARREN, OH - Following the recent International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling that steel tube imports from China have injured U.S. industry, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-17) today outlined how trade enforcement will help domestic producers and workers in the Mahoning Valley.
"Trade enforcement means jobs," Brown said. "For too long, domestic manufacturers like Wheatland Tube and V&M Star faced an inexcusable flood of Chinese products made with unfair subsidies. By enforcing trade law, we will ensure a fair playing field and save jobs."
"For years, our manufacturers have been fighting a flood of inferior Chinese products in the American market," Ryan said. "The recent ITC decision regarding the placement of tariffs on steel pipe and its previous decision regarding rubber tires move us in the right direction toward leveling the playing field for local businesses including V&M Star and Wheatland Tube. Senator Brown and I will continue to work with the ITC and the Obama Administration to seek tariffs for other Chinese products that threaten to undermine the economic health of this nation."
The ruling will allow for a border measure on imports, which will help domestic producers and workers at V&M STAR in Youngstown, and Wheatland Tube Co. in Warren. Brown and Ryan were joined by Wheatland Tube Co. President William Kerins and V&M Star Steel President and COO Roger Lindgren to outline how the decision will strengthen the Mahoning Valley and save jobs.
Enforcement of trade laws has already benefited Ohio workers. In Sep., following a June ruling by the ITC on behalf of tire workers, Pres. Obama announced that he would enforce "Section 421" trade safeguards that protect American manufacturers from excessive imports. After the ruling, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced plans to add capacity to its Findlay, Ohio tire plant and hire up to 100 workers.
As one of Congress' leading voices on trade, Brown testified before the ITC on Dec. 1 on this matter. A copy of his testimony can be found HERE. Brown is the author of the Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2009, legislation which would give the federal government more authority to address trade barriers. The legislation would require the U.S. Trade Representative to analyze trade barriers that have the most adverse effect on U.S. exports and employment, and crack down on these unfair practices. In November, marking the ten-year anniversary of the World Trade Organization (WTO) demonstrations in Seattle and the Nov. 30-Dec 2 WTO ministerial in Geneva, Switzerland, Brown reintroduced the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment (TRADE) Act. Brown's bill would revamp U.S. trade policy by mandating trade pact reviews, establishing higher standards, protecting workers in developing nations, and restoring Congressional oversight of future trade agreements.
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