On Capitol Hill, a Discussion of Unfair Chinese Trade

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

EPI president: U.S. must "develop and articulate its own long-term economic development strategy."

A Senate Finance subcommittee convened a hearing today to talk about barriers to market entry in China for foreign firms. Its guest list was ideologically diverse – some question President Trump’s tariff policies – but were still remarkably consistent about the need to respond to China's state-directed mercantilism.

“You cannot be a global company and ignore one fifth of the world’s population,” said Dean Garfield, president of the Information Technology Industry Council.

Linda Dempsey of the National Association of Manufacturers called for a bilateral trade agreement between Washington and Beijing.  

Thea Lee, president of the Economic Policy Institute, pointed out that China makes no secrets about pursuing an aggressive long-term industrial policy to boost its economy, often at the expense of its trading partners.

Then Lee said this:

The Chinese government is clearly playing a long game, while the U.S. is egregiously shortsighted. Our trade policies in the past have been so inadequate in scale and slow in implementation that by the time we take action, it is often a decade too late, with the result that our trade actions are ineffective, if not counterproductive.

We need to reform our domestic trade laws so we can act expeditiously. Going forward, we must address new barriers to trade in services and e-commerce. We need to make sure that we have—and are willing to use—measures to address currency misalignment. Our trade enforcement measures should prioritize good jobs, workers’ rights, democracy, environmental compliance, and consumer safety over outsourcing and short-term profits.

In summary, the U.S. government needs to develop and articulate its own long-term economic development strategy. It needs to use domestic tax, infrastructure, and workforce development policies to ensure that American workers and businesses have the tools and skills they need to compete successfully. But the government also needs to strengthen our trade compliance and enforcement measures and be willing to use them aggressively and consistently and in a timely manner to ensure that our trade relationship with China is reciprocal and fair.

Kinda sounds akin to the alarm bell (and call for a national manufacturing strategy) that analysts in the Defense Department have recently sounded.

Watch the entire thing here.

***

Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Stay out of the TPP

From the AFL-CIO

Working people want to move forward on trade, not backward. President Donald Trump’s reported interest in reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the wrong idea. He should focus on upgrading the protections for worker freedoms in the ongoing negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Three years ago, a united movement of working people rose in opposition to Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, upsetting the conventional wisdom and changing the course of American trade policy.

Our opposition had nothing to do with political parties. It was a grassroots groundswell, and it came after years in which trade experts from the AFL-CIO and our member unions offered feedback, detailed testimony and policy language to the trade negotiators, who simply allowed corporations to have too much control over the proposed deal.

More ...

Tax Day Fact

Tax Day Fact