Senator Stabenow Announces Victory for American Automakers and Workers in Trade Case Against China

Friday, May 23, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, today joined U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to announce a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that China illegally imposed import duties on U.S.-made automobiles and SUVs. The duties, placed on well-known American brands like Jeep and Buick, are estimated to have affected up to $5.1 billion worth of U.S. auto exports in 2013. China is now the second-largest export market for American automobiles, after Canada.

"This is about jobs," said Stabenow. "Today's ruling is a major victory for American workers and manufacturers and another blow to China's continued illegal trade practices. It is long past time China recognize that its repeated attempts to flout the rules will not be tolerated. I want to thank the Obama administration for standing up to China and fighting against illegal trade practices to ensure that we continue to export our products, not our jobs. Strong enforcement actions like this one are essential to the ongoing resurgence of American manufacturing."

Senator Stabenow, who is Co-chair of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, has championed trade enforcement for years. In 2012 President Obama created the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC) based on legislation introduced by Stabenow. Today's case was brought in conjunction with the ITEC, which monitors and enforces U.S. trade rights.

This victory marks the third recent WTO ruling in favor of American businesses and workers against China. Senator Stabenow, also Chair of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, urged the administration to address both cases, one dealing with American-made steel and the other with U.S. broiler-chicken products.

Earlier this week, the United States Department of Justice indicted five Chinese military hackers, charging them with cyber espionage and trying to illegally gain trade secrets. The indictment alleges that Chinese military officials hacked into the communications networks of major U.S. businesses and the United Steelworkers Union to steal intellectual property and other sensitive business information.