World Trade Organization Rules vs. Chinese Car Tariffs; Steel Workers Hail Decision

GENEVA –The World Trade Organization ruled on June 3 that Chinese tariffs and other penalties imposed on U.S. cars break world trade rules, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced.  The Steel Workers, who lead labor’s charge against unfair Chinese trade practices, hailed the ruling, USTR’s third straight win against the Chinese.
“China’s imposition of antidumping duties (ADs) and countervailing duties (CVDs) on American-made cars and sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) breached numerous international trade rules,” his office said.
Chinese misuse of trade duties shuts U.S. cars out of the growing Chinese market, and prevents U.S. auto firms from adding jobs to produce cars to meet Chinese demand, he said.
“Once again, the United States has prevailed in a dispute concerning China’s unjustified use of trade remedies, this time on exports of U.S.-made cars and SUVs.  This win for American auto workers and manufacturers is an important example of how President Obama has focused his trade agenda on supporting jobs, growth and a strengthened middle class in America,” he added.
“Americans deserve to compete on a fair and level playing field, and we will never stop fighting to ensure that our trading partners live up to the commitments they made in our international trade agreements…The message is clear: China must follow the rules, just like other WTO members. USTR will keep pressing for China to change its trade remedies practices that unfairly restrict U.S. exports.”
The United Auto Workers were tied up in their convention in Detroit and had no immediate comment on the WTO ruling, but the Steel Workers, who lead the campaign against unfair Chinese trade, did.  Some 350,000 USW members make steel, glass, tires, aluminum and plastics that go into cars and parts, the union notes.
“China’s protectionist practices have robbed America of export opportunities and jobs,” Steel Workers President Leo Gerard said. “China expects America to keep its market open even though it has consistently flaunted the rules for more than 12 years.
“When America seeks to level the playing field against China by having them live up to the rules it agreed to when joining the WTO, China too often retaliates. Today, China was found to have broken the rules again.
“China’s unfair trade practices have left behind too many shattered workers’ dreams, shuttered factories and hollowed-out communities. It continues to wage war on America’s manufacturing sector and its workers. This win is a sign that our government is resolute in standing up to China’s protectionist and predatory practices, and standing up for America’s workers. When China targets our industries, as it has in so many sectors, we’ve got to stand up for our interests.”
-PAI