·  USW

U.S. House Letter to Obama Supports USW 301 Petition on China


Swift action called by 181 signers against predatory trade practices on green jobs

Contact: Gary Hubbard, 202-778-4384 (O); 202-256-8125 (C);  ghubbard@usw.org

Washington, DC (Sept. 28, 2010) – Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), commended today’s release by U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) as chair of the Ways and Means Committee, a letter to President Obama signed by 181 members of Congress urging swift mobilization of resources in support of the union’s Section 301 trade petition against China’s use of unfair trade practices to dominate the green technology sector.

“Congress is making clear that it can’t and won’t accept China’s continuing refusal to abide by its international commitments and to skirt the rules it agreed to back when their country joined the World Trade Organization (WTO),” Gerard stated.

 “This congressional letter shows a substantial groundswell of support for the USW trade petition filed less than three weeks ago. It confirms with the Administration that they have the support needed to go forward with the petition and seek consultations with the Chinese to get them to dismantle all their polices that undermine our ability to expand green jobs in America and to sell our competitive products in China’s market.”

“We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Levin, who has tremendous experience and authority over our government’s trade policies. He recognizes how important this petition is to addressing China’s unfair, predatory and protectionist practices.”

Gerard adds, “The failure to address China’s practices means that we will never see the promise of green jobs.   We will also fail to reach President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports if we can’t begin to get our competitive products into China’s market.”

The USW president said, “The American people want a ‘green’ future.   They want to expand the usage of alternative and renewable energy.   They understand that addressing climate change is important.  But Americans want to make sure that our environmental and economic goals are mutually supportive.   This trade case can ensure that we really can have a win-win scenario – not only here at home, but in China and around the world.”

In the congressional letter, the signers wrote in part:

“We write to express our strong concern regarding China's use of unfair trade practices to promote the global competitiveness of its industries. Such practices are widespread, and should be addressed in every sector in which they occur. We write today, however, with urgency about China's use of such unfair trade practices to bolster and, in fact, globally dominate the green technology sector, and to ask that you swiftly mobilize Administration resources to address these practices.”

Citing the USW’s 5, 800-page petition, the U.S. House undersigned members urged support by the Administration for the USW’s Section 301 petition filed Sept. 9 under the Trade Act of 1974, requesting prompt action to address the practices underlying the filing. The congressional letter described the USW’s petition as reviewing more than “80 Chinese laws, regulations and practices that cover a broad spectrum of green technologies, including - solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, and advanced batteries – which seek to benefit Chinese manufacturers to the detriment of their American competitors.”

The letter said, “The United States cannot stand on the side lines. It must take urgent and decisive enforcement action to secure a level playing field for fair competition for green technology manufacturers.” It acknowledged that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has a strong enforcement record, noting the China tires 421 safeguard action also filed by the USW, as well as WTO disputes against China regarding raw materials, financial services and steel products.

Click here for a copy of the congressional letter signed by 181 Members of Congress.

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