August 7, 2017

Senate Democrats Outline Trade Policy Agenda And New Enforcement Tools While USTR Issues Enforcement Report

Senate Democrats last week outlined a seven-point trade agenda that the party said would “level the playing field for American workers by ensuring our workers aren’t competing in a race to the bottom on wages and labor protections” and would “crack down on foreign countries that manipulate trade rules and penalize corporations that outsource American jobs.”

Specifically, the plan would:

  • Create a trade prosecutor who can prosecute countries like China that circumvent international trade rules.
  • Establish an American Jobs Security Council that could “stop foreign companies from buying an American company if it were to result in harm to U.S. businesses, including job losses.”
  • Renegotiate NAFTA and promise that any new agreement “clearly demonstrate how it will enforce rules that lead to better jobs and wages.”
  • Create new penalties for federal contractors that outsource jobs.
  • Establish “Buy America” requirements for taxpayer funded projects.
  • Crack down on countries that manipulate their currency.
  • End tax benefits and clawing back tax breaks for outsourcers and establish new incentives for companies that bring jobs back to U.S. shores.

Click here to read the Democrats’ full plan.

The U.S. Trade Representative, meanwhile, issued a report on trade enforcement last week. The Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2015, which MSCI supported, required the report. The USTR acknowledged:

“The international steel and aluminum markets … are currently experiencing significant oversupply due in large part to production from excessive and uneconomic capacity in China. This oversupply has caused severe market distortions, including the suppression of U.S. and global prices, and the displacement of U.S. exports in foreign markets.”

The report pledged that the “USTR will continue to aggressively defend all WTO challenges to U.S. trade remedy actions, including in the context of numerous ongoing disputes …” Click here to read the full report.

Additionally last week: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made it clear in a Wall Street Journal opinion column that the Trump administration does not consider China a market economy. The Metals Service Center Institute is working with Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement to ensure that China does not get that designation from the WTO.