U.S. Senator Charles Schumer calls for action on imports of cheap aluminum
Thursday, August 17, 2017
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said that subsidies from China and other countries violate trade rules and that manufacturers are hurting due to an uneven playing field. Schumer said in upcoming trade talks, the USTR and Department of Commerce must press Chinese officials on unfair practices undermining American aluminum and steel producers.
In a statement, Sen. Schumer said, “There are top notch manufactures like Alcoa and Nucor ready to provide high-quality aluminum and steel to businesses in and around the country, but China’s overproduction has resulted in a substantial threat to Upstate New York’s metal industry by making it almost impossible for companies that play by the rules to compete.”
Schumer supported the “Level the Playing Field Act” which strengthened U.S. antidumping laws and has advocated for the vigorous enforcement of U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws. These efforts have helped the U.S. steel and aluminum industries put in place more duties on artificially cheap steel and aluminum imports. However, subsidized steel and aluminum from China and other countries is being rerouted through third countries in Asia and exported to the U.S. without being assessed duties. The 232 investigations could result in broad-based action to curb steel and aluminum imports from many countries. As a result, Schumer is urging that, in addition to swift action on the 232 investigations, the administration take actions to safeguard Upstate New York’s aluminum and steel industries’ long-term competitiveness by; prioritizing concessions to eliminate steel and aluminum subsides from China, defending U.S. trade enforcement laws at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and challenging China’s aluminum subsides at the WTO.
“The aluminum and steel we use to build our planes, trains and bridges should be proudly stamped ‘Made in America,’ and more of it should come from companies in Upstate New York," noted Schumer. "But in order for that to happen, we must stop heavily subsidized foreign companies, like those in China, from dumping these artificially cheap metals in our markets. So I am urging the U.S. Trade Representative and Department of Commerce to press China to cut their subsidies and use our trade laws to effectively guard against this unfair competition.”
Read the full statement here.