Strengthening U.S. Competitiveness Abroad Requires Getting Tough on Unfair Trade

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul is set to tell Members of Congress on Wednesday that global industrial overcapacity — largely fueled by China —continues to threaten the United States and encourage action on national security investigations into steel and aluminum imports.

Paul will appear at an afternoon hearing on “Opportunities to Expand U.S. Trade Relationships in the Asia-Pacific Region” being held by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. He’ll encourage Members to “adopt policies that strengthen U.S. competitiveness and counteract the massively lopsided and growing trade deficit with China, as well as the significant and increasing deficits with South Korea, Japan, and other nations.”

And he’ll urge Members to press the Trump administration to finally unveil the findings of its Section 232 investigations into imports. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross initially promised to do so by the end of June, but now says the release will be delayed until after tax reform is complete. In the meantime, steel imports alone are up 21 percent, as countries rushed to dump their products into the U.S. market ahead of the investigation. Tens of thousands of U.S. workers have faced layoffs and dozens of mills have closed.

“We recently received news that steel mills in Pennsylvania would be reducing operations, including one that produces armor plate for the U.S. military and played an important role in supporting the production of armored vehicles to protect our service men and women from IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Paul says in prepared testimony. “Further delay results in a greater threat to America’s economic welfare and national security.”

Paul also will urge Congress to strengthen and enforce America’s trade laws, support maintaining China’s non-market economy status, act to stop China’s continued cyber theft of intellectual property and trade secrets, pass legislation to treat foreign currency manipulation as a subsidy under U.S. trade remedy laws, and strengthen rules of origin regulations in NAFTA and other trade agreements.

Finding effective ways to pressure China to finally reduce its massive industrial overcapacity is key to strengthening American production here at home and ensuring our markets are not “flooded with unfairly traded products,” Paul will tell lawmakers.

“China will only respond, and America will only benefit, if there are enforceable mechanisms to ensure that Beijing is living up to its commitments,” Paul says in prepared testimony.

Others set to testify before the committee include Matthew Goodman, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Kevin Sullivan, owner and operator of Santa Rosa Ranch; Demetrios Marantis, senior vice president and head of global government relations at Visa Inc.; and Stefanie Moreland, director of government relations and seafood sustainability at Trident Seafoods.

The heading is slated to begin at 2 p.m. in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

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Reposted from AAM

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Union Matters

An Invitation to Sunny Miami. What Could Be Bad?

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

If a billionaire “invites” you somewhere, you’d better go. Or be prepared to suffer the consequences. This past May, hedge fund kingpin Carl Icahn announced in a letter to his New York-based staff of about 50 that he would be moving his business operations to Florida. But the 83-year-old Icahn assured his staffers they had no reason to worry: “My employees have always been very important to the company, so I’d like to invite you all to join me in Miami.” Those who go south, his letter added, would get a $50,000 relocation benefit “once you have established your permanent residence in Florida.” Those who stay put, the letter continued, can file for state unemployment benefits, a $450 weekly maximum that “you can receive for a total of 26 weeks.” What about severance from Icahn Enterprises? The New York Post reported last week that the two dozen employees who have chosen not to uproot their families and follow Icahn to Florida “will be let go without any severance” when the billionaire shutters his New York offices this coming March. Bloomberg currently puts Carl Icahn’s net worth at $20.5 billion.

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