U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded a ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO) that upholds an earlier decision regarding China's duties on American steel. In September 2010, the Obama Administration 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 in June that China's retaliatory duties were a clear violation of international trade law. China appealed the ruling, but the decision was upheld by the WTO today.
"We know how to make things in Ohio--especially steel. Our workers can compete with anyone in the world, but only when the playing field is level," Brown said. "The ability of Ohio companies to sell their goods abroad is vital to their success, and the World Trade Organization has acted correctly by upholding a prior decision that knocks down illegal Chinese trade barriers. I applaud the Obama Administration for acting aggressively to protect our critical steel industry and Ohio jobs."
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.