Lavin: China Action Part of Broader Trade Agenda

By April 2, 2007Trade

Frank Lavin, the Department of Commerce’s undersecretary of international trade, spent the noon hour at the NAM today, addressing NAM members and the Washington, D.C. press corps on the Administration’s decision to impose anti-subsidy duties against Chinese exports of coated paper products. Two important messages we took away from his comments:

  • First, the action should not be seen in isolation, but is rather part of a broader trade agenda that includes use of bilateral negotiations, WTO actions, and aggressive export promotion.
  • Second, that the decision to apply countervailing duties does not indicate a coming trade war with China.
  • Lavin’s concluding remarks provide a good précis of his arguments.

    The China CVD case was an important step ahead in our economic engagement with China. As China continues to sort through its approach to reforming its economy, we believe this provides an additional incentive for China to move away from subsidies and continue to pursue market economics. If we add the other pillars of negotiations, WTO actions, our overall trade agenda and export promotion, I believe we have a comprehensive strategy that advances U.S. interests and is fair to both sides.

    The NAM’s release commending Lavin’s remarks is here. You can also listen to his opening statement in an .mp3 file accessible here.

    UPDATE (5:30 p.m.): Undersecretary Lavin’s opening statement is available at the Department of Commerce website here.