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September 12, 2016

House Steel Caucus Urges Obama Administration To Take Action Against NME Countries’ Illegal Trading Practices

Arguing that “America’s manufacturing sector and economic security are under attack,” last Wednesday the Congressional Steel Caucus, which is led by Chairman Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Vice-Chairman Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN), introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that calls on the Obama administration “to take action regarding non-market economy (NME) countries in order to protect American jobs and our nation’s economic security.” Non-market economies include China. 

In a press release, the caucus said, “The market-distorting policies of these countries and their subsidization of key commodities, such as aluminum, cement, cotton, synthetic fiber, PET resin, specialty chemicals, iron, and steel, have created challenging conditions for U.S. companies, workers, and communities.” The caucus also argued “American manufacturing has been unable to compete on a level playing field” because of NME countries’ illegal trading practices. 

The resolution asks the Obama administration to provide for the full and effective application of U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws against NME countries and to retain the status of any country currently designated as a NME until it meets all of the criteria for treatment as a market economy established under current law. (As a reminder, under an agreement with the World Trade Organization, China is set to be designated as a market economy this December.) 

It also asks NME countries to “eliminate all direct and indirect subsidies and other market-distorting government policies benefitting the production and export of goods to the United States, and to enter into binding and enforceable agreements for removing excess production capacity and withdrawing state intervention in and control over their economies.” A bipartisan group of 23 House members have agreed to co-sponsor the resolution. 

The Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement Coalition, of which MSCI is a member, strongly supports the resolution.