Testimony: China’s Counterfeit, Dangerous Products

By July 18, 2007Trade

The Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing on the safety of Chinese imports is under way (details here), and the NAM’s senior vice president for policy and government relations, Jay Timmons, is on the second panel of witnesses. An excerpt from his testimony:

China and the United States are tied together by trade, with the U.S. importing some $287 billion worth from China in 2006, while China represented the fourth-largest destination for U.S. exports. Many issues must be addressed in our trading relations, such as China’s currency manipulation, subsidies of favored industries, and lack of intellectual property protection. But a healthy long-term U.S.-China bilateral trade relationship is in both countries’ interests. Therefore, it is important that we take advantage of every opportunity to work cooperatively whenever possible on issues of mutual concern.

To maintain a strong relationship, it is imperative that China recognize our concerns are based upon public safety and protection of intellectual property – not protectionism. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, the key message I wish to leave with you today is one appropriately directed at China, its government and manufacturers: Follow the rules. They are not guidelines, or mild recommendations, they are international treaties and national laws that demand compliance – and they make sense. Last weekend’s action targeted at U.S. meat exports reflected China’s traditional approach, more posturing than serious engagement. But when American lives are endangered, posturing is not an adequate response.

A copy of Timmons’ testimony is available here in .pdf format. We’ll link to the testimony of other witnesses once the committee posts it.

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