Today, Representative Mike Michaud (D-ME), Chairman of the House Trade Working Group (HTWG) was joined by fellow HTWG members Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Phil Hare (D-IL) and Betty Sutton (D-OH) in praising the Obama Administration for investigating the claims made in a petition filed with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) by the U.S. Steelworkers on China's policies affecting trade and investment in green technology.
"The Administration made the right decision to move forward with an investigation into China's unfair trade practices in the green energy industry," said Representative Michaud, Chairman of the House Trade Working Group. "This is just one of many sectors in which China refuses to play by the rules. China's illegal subsidies in this sector and others put American innovators, manufacturers, and workers at a disadvantage, which is why we cannot tolerate their disregard for international trade laws any longer. I urge the Administration to complete their investigation quickly and proceed with formal consultations to force China to play by the rules."
"It's refreshing to see this Administration take a clear and decisive step in favor of American workers and I am glad that the President is willing to challenge China on this issue," said Representative Slaughter, Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee. "Far too many times our industries have suffered at the hands of foreign competitors who do not compete fairly. I firmly believe that the Steelworkers made a compelling argument in their petition and I predict that the facts will show that China's policies were adversely impacting green technologies in the Unite States. While enforcement of our existing trade laws is important, we also need to reform our overall trade policies and create new trade framework that ends the failed Bush-model Free Trade Agreements. I look forward to working with the President and my fellow reform-minded colleagues to achieve this goal in the weeks and months ahead."
Representative Phil Hare said, "I applaud the Obama Administration for holding China accountable and initiating this critical investigation. For too long, China has failed to play by the rules and their unfair practices have left American workers and companies, especially in the emerging green energy markets, at a severe competitive disadvantage. This investigation is a critical first step in leveling the playing field and a clear sign to the Chinese government that we will no longer tolerate this behavior."
"I applaud today's challenge to China's unfair trading practices that harm our workers and businesses in the development, manufacturing, and deployment of clean energy products," said Representative Betty Sutton. "When China entered the WTO, they agreed to a set of trade rules, and they must be held accountable for any and all violations. These violations have cost our workers and businesses jobs and opportunities and must not be allowed to continue."
USTR announced that they would utilize a 90-day period to conduct their investigation of the Steelworker's claims. A formal request for consultations with China may follow if USTR finds China has violated its commitments under the World Trade Organization.