The House today took action to protect Wisconsin manufacturers from China cheating, building on legislation introduced by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) with Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI). The bipartisan H.R. 4105 passed today (370-39) takes necessary steps to block China's unfair trade practices. The legislation incorporates Baldwin's CHEATS Act (H.R. 4071) that ensures the Department of Commerce has the legal authority to impose a tax on subsidized foreign imports, called countervailing duties (CVDs), from China and other countries that unfairly subsidize their manufacturing. Without these CVDs, American manufacturers are undercut and cannot compete on a level playing field.
"The simple fact is that China cheats and we've seen the effect their unfair advantage has on manufacturing in Wisconsin, particularly in the paper industry," said Baldwin. "I'm proud to see my efforts to keep jobs in Wisconsin supported by my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. American manufacturers deserve our full support in combating China's relentless pattern of international trade law violations," Baldwin said.
Baldwin's contribution to H.R. 4105 responds to a December 19, 2011 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals that the Department of Commerce lacks the legal authority to impose CVDs on subsidized imports from countries with nonmarket economies, such as China and Vietnam. Without legislative action, the Court's ruling would have taken effect, and the U.S. would have lost a powerful remedy to combat the harmful effects of unfairly subsidized Chinese imports. In addition, the U.S. would have been forced to pay back tariffs already paid by importers - at taxpayers' expense.
Among Wisconsin businesses that will benefit significantly from Baldwin's advocacy 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). Also benefiting from Baldwin's advocacy are 230 U.S. companies in the steel, aluminum, paper, chemicals and tire industries.