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Public Statements

Letter to The President

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Today 181 Members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging the President to address China's unfair trade practices that benefit its green technology manufacturers to the detriment of their America competitors.

In the letter, the Members express their strong concern regarding these trade practices, and urge the Administration to mobilize its resources to bring China's predatory green technology policies to an end. Recognizing the President's commitment to trade enforcement to date, the letter underscores the need for the Administration to redouble its efforts by taking action on the basis of the Steelworkers' Section 301 petition and by ensuring that USTR has the resources and personnel it needs to target these practices aggressively and comprehensively.

"The United States must take urgent and decisive trade enforcement action to secure a level playing field for fair competition for American worker, businesses and innovators in green technology industries," said Chairman Levin. "China's practices in this sector are designed to protect and promote its domestic industries at the expense of U.S. jobs, commerce and know how. These practices, combined with Chinese currency policy and other predatory practices, are already taking a heavy toll on the U.S. green economy and U.S. trade balances. We strongly support the Steelworkers Section 301 petition and urge the Administration to devote the necessary resources to USTR to address these and other unfair trade practices."

Text of the letter to President Obama follows:

September 28, 2010

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

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.

In this regard, we support the petition filed by the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Services Workers International Union, AFL-CIO CLC ("Steelworkers") under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 ("Section 301") on September 9, 2010, and urge your Administration to take prompt action to address the practices underlying this petition.

China's proliferation of unfair trade practices continues unabated with dire consequences for U.S. workers, business and innovators. Upon entry into the World Trade Organization ("WTO") in 2001, China agreed to remove its existing barriers to trade and to not adopt new barriers. Nearly a decade later, however, China has not followed through on many commitments, and has developed a new generation of discriminatory and unfair trade practices designed to protect and promote its domestic industries at the expense of U.S. jobs, commerce and know-how.

China's approach to green technology policy exemplifies this grim trend. Through a variety of predatory trade practices, China's industrial policy seeks to give its manufacturers an unfair advantage in the green technology revolution and to capture this emerging sector. These practices, combined with Chinese currency policy, are already taking a heavy toll on the U.S. green economy and U.S. trade balances.

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. The Office of the United States Trade Representative ("USTR") has a strong enforcement record with respect to China and your Administration has taken significant action in this regard, including the China tires 421 safeguard action, as well as WTO disputes against China regarding raw materials, financial services and steel products. It is now time to redouble these efforts in two respects -- to take action on the basis of the Steelworkers' Section 301 petition and to ensure that USTR has the resources and personnel it needs to target these practices aggressively and comprehensively.

As you know, the Steelworkers' Section 301 petition describes over 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.

If left unchecked, these practices will achieve their intended effect, which is to drive American manufacturers from this critical emerging sector. While USTR will need to evaluate each aspect of the petition on its merits, we call on USTR to do so with a view to examining all appropriate responses that will quickly end these unfair trade practices.

In addition, we urge you to redirect existing resources and dedicate significant new resources to the China trade enforcement mission of the United States government. USTR should build on existing capacities and expand to include additional personnel with linguistic, legal, investigative, trade and country expertise to target China's increasingly sophisticated unfair trade practices.

Specifically, a dedicated China trade enforcement team should be tasked with translating relevant laws and regulations, investigating possible unfair trade practices, going to China to assist in case development, evaluating possible legal claims, and responding expeditiously with targeted action, including WTO dispute settlement where appropriate. This team should be led by USTR's Office of the General Counsel, and work closely with USTR's Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement and USTR's China Affairs Office, as well as other relevant offices within USTR and other agencies.

We look forward to working with you and to doing our part to address these concerns in order to ensure that the United States is not denied the ability to fully compete in the green technology revolution.

Sincerely,

Sander M. Levin
Charles B. Rangel
Phil Hare
Fortney Pete Stark
Jim McDermott
Betty Sutton
John Lewis (GA.)
Richard E. Neal
Michael H. Michaud
Xavier Becerra
Lloyd Doggett
John D. Dingell
Earl Pomeroy
Mike Thompson
Peter J. Visclosky
John B. Larson
Earl Blumenauer
Patrick J. Murphy
Ron Kind
Bill Pascrell Jr.
Shelley Berkley
Allyson Y. Schwartz
Artur Davis
Danny K. Davis
Bob Etheridge
Linda T. Sanchez
Brian Higgins
John Conyers, Jr.
David R. Obey
George Miller
James L. Oberstar
Edward J. Markey
Dale E. Kildee
Nick J. Rahall II
Barney Frank
Marcy Kaptur
John M. Spratt, Jr.
Gary L. Ackerman
Edolphus Towns
Rick Boucher
Howard L. Berman
Alan B. Mollohan
Paul E. Kanjorski
Peter A. DeFazio
Louise McIntosh Slaughter
Jerry F. Costello
David Price
Rosa L. DeLauro
Eleanor Holmes Norton
John W. Olver
James P. Moran
Jerrold Nadler
Gene Green
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Bob Filner
Donald Manzullo
Corrine Brown
Bobby L. Rush
Bart Stupak
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.
Alcee L. Hastings
Tim Holden
Bennie G. Thompson
Lynn C. Woolsey
Carolyn B. Maloney
Maurice Hinchey
Elijah E. Cummings
Walter B. Jones, Jr.
Mike Doyle
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
Sheila Jackson-Lee
Zach Wamp
Brad Sherman
Barbara Lee
Rubén Hinojosa
Robert A. Brady
James P. McGovern
Carolyn C. Kilpatrick
Steven R. Rothman
Lois Capps
Marion Berry
Dennis J. Kucinich
Jay Inslee
John F. Tierney
Leonard L. Boswell
Loretta Sanchez
Adam Smith
David Wu
Janice D. Schakowsky
Tammy Baldwin
Dennis Moore
Michael E. Capuano
Rush D. Holt
Stephen F. Lynch
Mike Ross
Rick Larsen
Adam B. Schiff
Baron P. Hill
Wm. Lacy Clay
Tim Ryan
Raúl M. Grijalva
Lincoln Davis
Dennis A. Cardoza
Brad Miller
C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger
David Scott
Jim Marshall
G.K. Butterfield
Al Green
Albio Sires
Daniel Lipinski
Charlie Melancon
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Russ Carnahan
Doris O. Matsui
John T. Salazar
Melissa L. Bean
David Loebsack
Steve Kagen
Brad Ellsworth
Carol Shea-Porter
Charlie Wilson
Steve Cohen
Hank Johnson
Heath Shuler
Christopher P. Carney
Keith Ellison
Bruce L. Braley
Zack Space
Paul W. Hodes
Bill Foster
Joe Donnelly
Gabrielle Giffords
André Carson
Travis W. Childers
Marcia L. Fudge
John Sarbanes
Michael A. Arcuri
Chris Murphy
Jason Altmire
Tim Walz
Peter Welch
Joe Sestak
Joe Courtney
Mark H. Schauer
Mark S. Critz
Chellie Pingree
Gary C. Peters
Deborah L. Halvorson
Tom Perriello
Paul D. Tonko
Bill Owens
Mary Jo Kilroy
John A. Boccieri
Kathy Dahlkemper
Daniel B. Maffei
Ben Ray Luján
Larry Kissell
Alan Grayson
Kurt Schrader
John Garamendi
Martin Heinrich
Mike Quigley
Dina Titus
Gerry Connolly
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Mazie K. Hirono
Grace F. Napolitano
Chaka Fattah
Kendrick B. Meek
Joe Baca
Donna F. Edwards
Eliot L. Engel
Jackie Speier
Ed Perlmutter
Jerry McNerney
Steve Driehaus
Judy Chu
Betsy Markey
Gwen Moore
Member of Congress


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