Issue Position: The Stabenow Trade Prosecutor Bill
Trade Violations Cost Michigan Jobs
Failure to enforce our trade agreements has cost the United States millions of jobs over the past 15 years. Our nation has lost nearly 3 million manufacturing jobs since 2000 and a quarter million jobs have been lost on account of Chinese counterfeit products alone.
Several of our largest trading partners cheat the system to gain an unfair and illegal advantage. For instance, Japan uses shrewd tactics to keep the yen from rising. Effectively, this gives Japanese cars a $2,000 to $8,000 subsidy for each car it exports. It is also estimated that Chinese counterfeiting of automotive products costs the auto industry $12 billion in lost sales.
Despite numerous violations, our government has failed to stand up against countries that manipulate their currency, steal our patents, and illegally obstruct market access for American businesses.
Currently, the Trade Representative is focused on establishing new trade agreements, not enforcing those already in place. A division solely devoted to enforcement would put an end to these unfair trade practices, allowing American businesses and workers to compete on a level playing field.
Trade Enforcement Division to Stand up for American Manufacturers and Farmers
Senator Stabenow will introduce a bipartisan bill with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to create a Trade Enforcement Division and an Office of Trade Assistance for Small Businesses.
* The division will investigate illegal trade practices and recommend the prosecution of cases before the WTO.
* The Office of Trade Assistance for Small Businesses will provide a voice for America's small businesses harmed by unfair trade practices.
It is time to stand up to our trading partners and make sure they play by the rules!