Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced Congressional passage of legislation that would allow the U.S. to enforce trade violations by China and other non-market economies. The bill, which passed Congress with broad, bipartisan support, preserves the U.S. government’s ability to impose punitive tariffs on countries like China that unfairly subsidize their products to undermine the American market. Earlier this week, Senator Gillibrand urged her colleagues in Congress to pass this legislation, in addition to urging President Obama to take steps to stonewall China’s destructive trade policies.
“We must make sure that America’s producers, manufacturers, and innovators are on a level playing field with their Chinese counterparts,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We cannot allow other countries to corner the market through unfair and illegal trade practices. This legislation ensures the U.S. can take the strong action necessary to enforce our trade agreements.”
Last year, a U.S. Circuit Court ruled that U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) was not explicitly authorized by Congress to apply the tariffs to non-market economies. Before then the U.S. had been issuing CVDs on products from non-market economies, principally China and Vietnam, since 2007. If the legislation was not passed, the 24 countervailing duty orders currently in effect would be invalidated and the 80,000 jobs these measures have protected would be in jeopardy. These measures a and are particularly relevant to trade relations with China given their history of unfairly subsidizing exports to the U.S, and 23 or 24 orders currently in effect have been issued against Chinese products.
The legislation cosponsored by Senator Gillibrand, which the President is expected to swiftly sign into law, would combat unfair international trade practices by ensuring that the DOC can impose new Counter-Vailing Duty (CVD) orders – punitive tariffs that reverse subsidies provided by a foreign country to non-market economies – and continue to enforce existing cases against unfair subsidies on exports.