Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today urged swift passage of legislation to block China's unfair trade practices saying time is running out to protect Wisconsin manufacturers.
Bipartisan legislation authored by Baldwin (CHEATS Act) was incorporated into a larger bill to address China's cheating in the marketplace. Both pieces of legislation respond to a December 19, 2011 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals that the Department of Commerce lacks the legal authority to impose countervailing duties (CVDs) on subsidized imports from countries with nonmarket economies, such as China and Vietnam. Without legislative action, the Court's ruling will take effect on Monday, March 5. If that happens, the U.S. will lose a powerful remedy to level the playing field for American manufacturers and combat the harmful effects of unfairly subsidized Chinese imports. In addition, the U.S. will be forced to pay back tariffs already paid by importers - at taxpayers' expense.
"The simple fact is that China cheats and we've seen the effect their unfair advantage has on manufacturing in our state, particularly in the paper industry. It must be stopped," Baldwin said. "Unless Congress passes a legislative fix this week, we will lose more jobs and more Wisconsin working families and businesses will suffer. There are no excuses and no time for delay. I call on my colleagues to do the right thing and pass this legislation now," Baldwin said.
Among Wisconsin businesses that have suffered significant job losses due to unfair Chinese competition are Wisconsin paper manufacturers NewPage Corporation (Biron, Stevens Point, Whiting, and Wisconsin Rapids), Appleton Coated LLC (Kimberly), Felker Brothers Corp. (Marshfield), Coating Excellence International, LLC (Wrightstown), Appleton, Inc. (Appleton), Award Hardwood Floors (Wausau), and From the Forest (Weston).
Failure to enact a legislative fix by Monday would remove an important tool the United States has to fight unfair Chinese trade practices affecting 230 U.S. companies in the steel, aluminum, paper, chemicals and tire industries.