U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, is urging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his agency to take action on the proposed tariffs under the USTR’s Section 301 investigation of the illegal trading practices of China.
Excerpts from Visclosky’s letter to Lighthizer:
“I write to offer support for the proposed list of 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods, covering approximately 1,300 products in various industries, including the steel industry. In relation to steel, China has continued to expand its steel capa\ city, bringing the global steel overcapacity to around 600 million metric tons. China has been dumping steel on the global market, creating a surge in global supply and driving down prices. American steel companies and their steelworkers have suffered as a result. We must do all we can to ensure China knows that we will enforce all of our trade laws.
“I am disturbed that the Administration has hesitated to implement these tariffs. For years, China has made promises to reduce their steel overcapacity and combat other unfair trade practices, and no such action has been taken. China does not play by our market-based rules, and the time for action is now.
“In the Section 301 investigation and subsequent report, it was determined that the Chinese government uses opaque and illicit mechanisms to intervene in U.S. companies’ operations in China and require the transfer of innovative technology. As you know, the Chinese government does not use market-based licensing agreements the same way as other U.S. trading partners and involves itself in industrial development plans, negating the benefits of fair global trade. Further, the report concluded that China conducts and supports unauthorized intrusions into computer networks of U.S. companies to access their confidential product information.
“Our trade laws are being violated, and the United States government has a responsibility to take action against violators. American workers, regardless of their industry or specialization, are the most innovative in the world and, if given a fair chance, can compete with anyone. They cannot do so if they must compete with the Chinese government and its unfair policies involving trade and investment.”