Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) said Tuesday's decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to maintain duties on Chinese roller bearings will help combat China's unfair trade practices. In testimony submitted to the USITC review hearing last month, Senator Webb warned that removing protections against unfairly subsidized products from China would greatly harm U.S. industry, including Timken's roller bearing manufacturing facility in Altavista, Va.
"I believe that trade can help America's working men and women, but it requires that everyone play by the rules," said Senator Webb, who has repeatedly expressed concerns about the impact of China's unfair trade policies on the United States, and Virginia in particular. "The Chinese steel industry is almost entirely state-owned. Heavy subsidies distort the markets and prices for steel and steel-utilizing products, such as tapered roller bearings. The decision to maintain the antidumping duty order was the right move to ensure a level playing field."
Antidumping duties were placed on Chinese tapered roller bearings in 1987 and have allowed steady growth among U.S. manufacturers, such as the Timken Altavista facility, which employs 133 workers.
In October 2010, Senator Webb supported similar protections by the Commission against the dumping of Chinese furniture, warning that failure to combat China's unfair trade practices could lead to "the point where the furniture industry in Virginia is only history."