Today, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) applauded the filing of a petition by the United Steelworkers (USW), under section 301 of U.S. trade laws, which will help the federal government build a case against China's unfair trade practices. Through the World Trade Organization (WTO), a successful challenge by the U.S. would require China to end policies that stimulate and protect their own domestic producers of clean-energy technology at the expense of American manufacturing and research & development investment, taking away jobs from hard working people across our country.
"I support the efforts of the USW to keep China honest because I believe that we need enforcement of trade policies that were meant to protect American jobs and our nation's economy," said Senator Stabenow. "Michigan workers have been the most affected by these unfair trade policies, taking away jobs and investment from our state's manufacturing sector. China has done nothing but ignore the rules set forth by the WTO since joining ten years ago. They manipulate their currency, they prevent American companies from competing for government business, and now they're cheating in trying to create a clean energy sector. I hope the Administration moves forward on the latest attempt to hold China accountable."
The filing by the USW covers five areas where China's policies are negatively impacting American exporters:
* Restrictions on access to critical materials, such as raw materials and natural resources. Policies drastically raise prices for U.S. companies, while cutting prices for Chinese companies.
* Performance requirements for investors, which force partnerships with China-owned joint venture partners or state financiers whose investment contracts contain technology transfer requirements.
* Demonstrated discrimination against foreign firms in wind farm and solar power plant bids, and prohibitions of foreign companies from getting international emissions credits.
* Government subsidies to Chinese companies based on export performance and use of domestic over imported products.
* The granting of domestic subsidies that distort trade and harm producers of clean-energy technologies in other countries, including the U.S.
In an effort to combat some of the unfair trade practices by China, Senator Stabenow has introduced the China Fair Trade Act and the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act during the 111 th Congress.