WASHINGTON, D.C., December 12, 2016 – The Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement (MTE), a coalition representing more than one million workers in the aluminum, steel, cement, chemical, textile and other manufacturing industries, today expressed appreciation for the U.S. government’s continued commitment to apply its established criteria for determining whether a county is a non-market economy for purposes of the antidumping law.
China has claimed that it should automatically receive market economy status following the 15th anniversary of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on December 11, 2016. However, U.S. law requires that the Department of Commerce (DOC) make a market economy status (MES) determination based on a six factor statutory test.
The coalition lauded comments by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker during a press conference following the 27th Session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in late November, where she reiterated that market economy status determinations are governed strictly by six statutory factors and due process determinations.
“It is heartening to see that the U.S. government is sticking to its commitment to enforce our trade laws,” said Heidi Brock, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association and co-chairman of the Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement. “We’ve appreciated the hard work and principled stand of the current Administration on this important issue and look forward to working with the incoming Administration to ensure that American manufacturing firms can compete on a level playing field with foreign competitors.”
Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute and co-chairman of the Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement, said, “Given the significant role of the Chinese government in many key aspects of its economy, and especially in its state-owned and controlled steel sector, there can be no question that China remains a non-market economy. This is not just a North American concern. The steel industries in Europe and throughout Latin America share our concern. We applaud our government’s commitment to ensuring China is not prematurely awarded market economy status.”
The MTE coalition will continue to advocate for a fair and principled application of our nation’s trade laws. In July, the MTE briefed congressional staff on the importance of market economy to domestic manufacturers. In September, the Coalition supported a bipartisan measure introduced by Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Peter Visclosky (D-IN) to ensure that any foreign country designated as a non-market economy retain this status until it demonstrates that it meets all criteria for treatment as a market economy.
State support of domestic manufacturing in China has distorted global markets, leading to significant overcapacity and other issues that are hurting domestic manufacturers. In the aluminum industry, workers up and down the value chain are being impacted and seven U.S.-based aluminum smelters have curtailed or closed since the beginning of 2015. In the steel industry, more than 16,000 jobs have been lost during the same time period.
According to the Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement’s position statement, “Fair international competition and a level playing field are essential for the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.”
About the Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement
Manufacturers for Trade Enforcement is a coalition of leading U.S. manufacturing groups united in calling for a principled stand on China’s market economy status (MES). U.S. law requires that the Department of Commerce make an MES determination based on established criteria, which China has not met. State support of domestic manufacturing in China has distorted global markets, hurting domestic manufacturers. To learn more, please visit www.tradeenforcement.org.