United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo Gerard issued the
following statement after the Obama Administration’s announcement on Monday
that it would challenge China’s refusal to comply with its WTO obligations
regarding grain-oriented, flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES).
GOES is a product made by members in USW represented facilities.
“Once again, China demonstrates that it refuses to live by the promises and
commitments it made when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). The
Obama Administration’s actions today show that they recognize that enforcing
international trade laws is important to jobs. We applaud their action and
their willingness to pursue China’s ongoing cheating.
“The products covered by this action are made by USW members. Although our
members make high-quality products at competitive prices, China refuses to
open its market to us. Instead, it continues to pursue a one-way trade
policy. China’s actions in this case alone cost America a quarter-of-a
billion dollars in exports.
“After being found to have violated international trade rules by illegally
imposing tariffs on U.S. exports, China refused to comply with the WTO’s
decision. It issued a new determination and simply continued to apply duties
on U.S. exports.
“It is time for China to live by the rules or face the consequences. The
American people are sick and tired of China cheating while we continue to
open our market to their illegally traded and unfairly priced products.
Subsidies, currency manipulation, and intellectual property theft represent
just a fraction of China’s protectionist and predatory policies that have
allowed them to build up huge trade deficits, decimate our manufacturing
sector, steal our jobs, and fuel rising income inequality here in the United
“The USW has worked closely the past several years with the Obama
Administration, especially the office of the United States Trade
Representative (USTR), in helping to identify and fight unfair foreign trade
practices. While budget pressures face all agencies, the USTR’s enforcement
efforts should be fully funded by Congress because enforcing these laws
saves jobs and creates new opportunities. Congress must act quickly to
provide the Administration all the funds it needs to enforce our trade
The USW is the largest private-sector union in North America, representing
workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and
forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal
governments and agencies. For more information: