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WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, U.S. Senator Susan Collins calls for immediate consideration of legislation to ensure that trade laws intended to protect U.S. manufacturers and their workers against the harmful effects of illegal foreign subsidies could be applied to nonmarket economy countries, such as China.

In December, a U.S. Federal Court ruled that existing law does not allow U.S. companies to seek relief against unfairly subsidized imports from China and other nonmarket economy countries.
“Our nation’s manufacturers and their employees can compete against the best in the world, but they cannot compete against nations that provide huge subsidies and other unfair advantages to their producers. Time and time again, I hear from manufacturers in my state whose efforts to compete successfully in the global economy simply cannot overcome the practices of illegal pricing and subsidies of nations such as China. The results of these unfair practices are lost jobs, shuttered factories, and decimated communities,” said Senator Collins. “U.S. industries don’t want protection – they want fair competition.”
Following is text of Senator Collins’ letter to the Senate Finance Committee:

The Honorable Max Baucus The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch
Chairman Ranking Member
Committee on Finance Committee on Finance
United States Senate United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch,

Our nation’s trade remedy laws are intended to provide American industries and their employees relief from the effects of illegal foreign trade practices. Unfortunately, a recent court decision (GPX International Tire Corp. v. United States) now threatens to limit the application of U.S. countervailing duty (CVD) law with respect to merchandise from nonmarket economy (NME) countries. Though the CVD statute on its face in no way limits the application of the law to any country, if the GPX court ruling stands, NME countries, such as China, that heavily subsidize their industries would be beyond the reach of U.S. CVD law.

I believe that an outcome whereby some of the worst offenders could be exempt from trade law designed to counteract the effects of illegal subsidies is unacceptable. I have long been a proponent of applying our nation’s CVD laws to China and other NME countries. In the 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses, I introduced bipartisan legislation, called the Stop Overseas Subsidies Act, that would have ensured that CVD laws could be applied to imports from NME trading partners.

I am encouraged by reports that you are working with your House counterparts to reach agreement on legislation to address the issues raised by the GPX decision. I believe that there is strong bipartisan support to respond to the GPX decision with a targeted legislative fix, such as the one I proposed in the Stop Overseas Subsidies Act, and I urge you to redouble your efforts to reach agreement on a legislative remedy that can move quickly through both chambers of Congress. With 12.6 million Americans currently unemployed, it is critically important that we stand up for U.S. manufacturers that have been injured as a result of unfair trade practices. We cannot allow U.S. jobs to be hemorrhaged because countries such as China would rather cheat than compete on level playing field.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue. I am committed to working with you to ensure that the United States is able to enforce fully its anti-subsidy laws and fight unfair trade practices from overseas.