The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) was pleased to learn yesterday that the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed with U.S. complaints and found China’s export restraints on several industrial raw materials used as key components in the steel, aluminum, and chemicals industries to be inconsistent with China’s WTO obligations.
We applaud U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Kirk and his team for bringing the case before the WTO as companies need these materials to compete at home and abroad. When China withholds from the market these key materials in contravention of its WTO obligations, it artificially increases world prices while effectively subsidizing Chinese producers, while hiding behind specious claims of environmental protection and conservation.
This beggar thy neighbor trade policy is what China must reverse and it is time it complies with the spirit as well as the letter of the international trading system rule book that has benefited from much since 2001. Other countries that have similar protectionist policies, like Argentina, should take note.
Stephen Jacobs is senior director of international business policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
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