The United Steelworkers (USW) is welcoming the Obama administration’s
announcement on how it intends to address components of the USW’s Section
301 trade case seeking to eliminate China’s “predatory and protectionist
practices and policies in the clean energy technology sector.”
“Today’s announcement by the Obama administration comes as an early note of
holiday cheer for those workers in the alternative and renewable energy
sector who work hard, play by the rules, and simply want a chance to
compete,” USW International President Leo Gerard said. “The Administration
has shown its commitment to enforcing the rules of trade by making it clear
to the Chinese government that they will pursue U.S. interests.”
“The USW’s case was comprehensive and complex,” Gerard noted. “The
Administration faithfully consulted with the Steelworkers in identifying a
three-part approach to proceeding with the case. First, the Administration
will move to resolve those matters where China could identify that its
practices had changed or were changing, or where China would agree to
abandon their illegal activities. Second, the Administration will proceed to
consultations with China where they believe the data and evidence was
irrefutable and where the case was ready to prosecute. Third, the
Administration has committed to an ongoing investigatory and evaluative work
plan on the remaining issues in the petition and the investigation in order
to obtain relief for the American worker.”
“We share the President’s goal of expanding the creation of ‘green’ jobs
here in the United States,” Gerard added. “The promise of green jobs,
however, will not become reality if China is allowed to dominate the sector
through unfair and illegal actions. Today’s announcement is just the first
chapter in the saga of pushing China to live up to the commitments they have
made. There’s still a long way to go.”
“Trust but verify is an apt phrase to use when evaluating promises made by
the Chinese,” Gerard said. “We cannot afford to simply accept more empty
promises hoping that the Chinese will keep their word. Trade enforcement
must be a higher priority in our nation’s policy agenda and it needs to be
backed up by sufficient resources and manpower to help us reignite economic
growth, production and job creation here at home.”
The USW filed a more than 5,800 page trade case under Section 301 of the
trade law on Sept. 9, 2010 against Chinese practices in five areas:
•Restrictions of access to critical materials.
•Prohibited subsidies contingent on export performance or domestic content.
•Discrimination against imported goods and foreign firms.
•Technology transfer requirements for foreign investors.
•Trade-distorting domestic subsidies.