WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) applauded a trade petition filed today that takes issue with unfair trade practices by China involving manufacturing in the clean energy sector. The petition filed with the Obama Administration under Section 301 of the Trade Act seeks remedies against Chinese subsidies and other policies that have unfairly put U.S. workers at a disadvantage.
“It is clear that Chinese subsidies and other unfair trade practices have violated trade laws and given Chinese manufacturers an unfair boost in new clean energy technology,” said Senator Casey. “Action must be taken to force China to level the playing field to allow U.S. manufacturers and workers to compete. There is tremendous potential in the clean energy sector to create more high-paying jobs in Pennsylvania and around the country. If the U.S. doesn’t aggressively deal with unfair Chinese trade practices we risk losing this industry and these jobs to China.”
“Senator Casey understands how important the clean energy sector is to our future and has fought to make sure that America doesn’t cede the industry. His support for our case will make a big difference,” said Leo Gerard, USW International President.
The 5,000 page petition filed today by the United Steel Workers (USW) provides the Obama Administration with evidence and other information that will help them compile a World Trade Organization (WTO) challenge to force China to end its subsidies and other unfair trade practices. The U.S. Trade Representative has 45 days in which to make a determination on whether to file a WTO challenge.
The petition covers five main areas:
• Restrictions on Access to Critical Materials;
• Performance Requirements for Investors;
• Discrimination Against Foreign Firms and Goods;
• Prohibited Subsidies for Advanced Technologies; and
• Trade-Distorting Domestic Subsidies.
Following a preliminary decision announced last week by the U.S. Department of Commerce suggesting that it would not investigate currency manipulation by China, Senator Casey called on the Commerce Department to reconsider and to protect American manufacturing from China’s unfair trade practices.
Senator Casey is a supporter of bipartisan legislation that would vigorously address currency misalignments that unfairly and negatively impact U.S. trade. If passed, the legislation would provide less flexibility to the Treasury Department when it comes to citing countries for currency manipulation. It would also impose stiff new penalties on designated countries, including tariffs on the countries’ exports and a ban on any companies from those countries receiving U.S. government contracts.
Last month, Senator Casey joined a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to President Obama calling for stronger action on behalf of U.S. businesses and workers competing against unfair trade practices conducted abroad, particularly the manipulation of currency by the Chinese government to unfairly boost exports.
Earlier this year, Senator Casey spearheaded a bipartisan letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner calling on him to list China as a currency manipulator.