Passage of trade act key to ensuring fair competition

Filed under: Opinion |

Dear Editor:

As a domestic contract manufacturer, I urge you to support H.R. 3283 The United States Trade Rights Enforcement Act introduced by Representatives Phil English (R-Pa.) and Bill Thomas (R-Calif.).

Passage of this bill will enable me to compete on a more level playing field with Chinese exports. Over the last five years my industry has been besieged by Chinese imports.

Failure to live up to World Trade Organization obligations and government subsidies such as questionable bank loans and rebates for raw materials have enabled Chinese companies to flood the U.S. with low-cost products.

It is estimated that Chinese goods are undervalued by 40 percent. This is a result of China’s currency policy that fixes the yuan to the dollar at 8.28. This gives Chinese companies an artificial price advantage when selling into the United States and it costs U.S. companies more to sell in China.

H.R. 3283 seeks to change current U.S. policy and would allow cases against China subsidizing its manufacturers to be filed. The legislation requires the U.S. Treasury Department to more closely examine China’s currency policy to determine if they are manipulating it to gain an unfair trade advantage.

It will also establish a system for monitoring China’s compliance with trade obligations on intellectual property rights and the accounting of Chinese subsidies. The monitoring provision establishes steps the president can take if China is breaking its trade obligations.

And finally, the bill requires the International Trade Commission to report on the sensitivity of U.S. trade and jobs to currency policies.

A vote for this bill is a vote to keep industry thriving in America, not overseas. I respectfully ask for your support of H.R. 3283.

Frank Shannon

Colorado Springs