U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded a ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO) finding that China's duties on American steel are in violation of WTO rules. In September 2010, the U.S. Trade Representative filed a WTO case against China, responding to Chinese duties applied on high-tech electric steel made by domestic manufacturers like AK Steel in Middletown. China argued that U.S. "Buy America" provisions included in the Recovery Act acted as a subsidy that warranted duties. The WTO ruled today that China's retaliatory duties were a clear violation of international trade law.
"The World Trade Organization took a stand for American manufacturers and stood up against illegal Chinese trade barriers," Brown said. "Today's ruling will remove barriers that prevent companies like AK Steel from selling their products in the global marketplace."
In September 2010, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) initiated a dispute action with China concerning anti-dumping and countervailing duties levied on U.S. grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES), made by AK Steel. The USTR challenged China's investigation process, alleging violations of procedural and due process obligations, including preventing the USTR and U.S. companies from defending their interests.
AK Steel employs about 6,200 workers in Middletown, Mansfield, Coshocton and Zanesville, as well as sites in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Indiana.
Brown is the author of the biggest bipartisan jobs bill to pass the Senate last year, which could create more than 2 million jobs in our country by leveling the playing field for American manufacturers competing against unfairly subsidized imports. Brown's Currency Exchange and Oversight Reform Act would stop China from propping up its currency -- which gives Chinese products an advantage by making them artificially cheaper than American-made ones. House leadership has yet to schedule a vote to create Ohio jobs now by making the Chinese pay a price when they cheat. According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the growing trade deficit with China -- caused in large part by China's illegal currency manipulation -- has cost the United States more than 2.8 million jobs since 2001, including more than 1.9 million manufacturing jobs.