Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

USW welcomes Administration taking up petition on Chinese green tech trade

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The Office of the United States Trade Representative has informed the United Steelworkers (USW) that the Obama Administration has accepted the USW’s petition under Section 301 of the trade law seeking the elimination of Chinese policies and practices adversely affecting U.S. producers and their workers in the clean energy sector.

“President Obama showed again today that fighting for U.S. workers and their jobs is his top priority,” USW International President Leo Gerard said in a statement released on Friday. “He’s backed up his commitment to a clean energy future by making it crystal clear that that future is going to benefit all Americans. By accepting the petition the Steelworkers filed against China’s predatory and protectionist policies, it sends the message that America is not going to stand by while our jobs get outsourced. China and all of our trading partners need to understand that we want fair trade and that we’re not going to allow unfair and illegal trade practices to deny our farmers, workers and businesses of the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.

“The Administration’s decision today starts an intense process designed to resolve our concerns about China’s vast array of policies and practices that they have assembled to dominate the alternative and renewable energy sector,” Gerard added. “Our goal, with the acceptance of this petition and the further verification and improvement of the potential cases, is that the Chinese will abandon their continuing effort to steal our jobs and ignore their commitments. Enough is enough: China needs to start playing by the rules they agreed to when they joined the WTO.”

“Today’s decision gets us to the starting gate, it doesn’t end the process,” Gerard noted. “There will be a need for political leaders to stand with the President and make clear that Americans are united in this effort. As the election approaches, voters should ask every candidate whether they support a trade policy that creates jobs and wealth here at home or one that ignores China’s unfair and illegal practices.”

The 301 petition was filed on September 9, 2010 and addressed five specific areas: restrictions on access to critical materials; performance requirements for investors; discrimination against foreign firms and goods; prohibited export subsidies and prohibited domestic content subsidies; trade distorting domestic subsidies.

Visclosky Comments

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, similarly greeted the announcement.

“I applaud the Office of the United States Trade Representative on its decision to act on the United Steelworker’s petition and begin an investigation into Chinese trade policies regarding green technologies that prohibit American workers from competing on a level playing field,” said Visclosky. “We cannot allow China to perpetuate a destructive trade imbalance to the detriment of American goods, manufacturing industries, and jobs. I remain committed to ensuring that the policies now being investigated by the USTR, as well as China’s other illegitimate practices like currency manipulation, are thoroughly addressed.”



Posted 10/18/2010




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