U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, today criticized the ruling by a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel which sided with claims brought by China against U.S. tariffs imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce to protect American industry.
"Today's ruling by the WTO only highlights how bad trade deals have weakened the United States' ability to stand up for our domestic industries and businesses," said Rep. Mark Pocan. "American companies and workers are left vulnerable to China and India because we have given away our sovereignty through bad trade practices which allows the WTO to keep tilting the playing field to benefit other countries."
The World Trade Organization's judges said the United States broke WTO rules by imposing hefty tariffs on steel products, solar panels and a range of other goods that benefitted from Chinese government subsidies. The WTO also overturned U.S. tariffs against unfairly priced steel exports for India's three major firms.
"State sponsored subsides provide an unfair advantage to Chinese and Indian businesses and force American companies to compete in an unfair and distorted market," continued Rep. Mark Pocan. "These unfair subsidies harm our domestic industries, cost American jobs, and put American businesses at a disadvantage. We cannot afford to let an outside entity, like the WTO, put American jobs and the American economy at risk. If allowed to compete on a fair playing field, I have no doubt our workers and businesses will prevail."
The United States imposed these tariffs because the products were being dumped in the U.S. market to help Chinese and Indian companies expand their market share. U.S. law empowers the Commerce Department to impose extra duties when it has determined that foreign goods are being "dumped" into the U.S. market or sold at below market prices to corner a share of business unfairly.