Rep. Sewell helps introduce Working Legislation for American workers

Published 7:10 am Friday, June 9, 2023

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U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) announced legislation to improve conditions for American workers.

The Leveling the Playing Field Act 2.0 would strengthen U.S. trade remedy laws to protect American workers and combat China’s unfair, anti-free market trade practices that distort the global market.

“As a member of the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, I am committed to ensuring that U.S. trade policy promotes fair competition and protects American workers against the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to manipulate the global market,” . Sewell said. “Along with Congressman Bill Johnson, I am proud to be introducing the Leveling the Playing Field Act 2.0 which would strengthen our trade remedy laws and push back against China’s egregious and unfair trade practices. We know that if American workers are given the opportunity to compete on a fair and level playing field, they will win on the world stage!”

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The Leveling the Playing Field Act 2.0 combats many of China’s most egregious practices, including:

-Country Hopping to Escape U.S. Trade Remedies – After all the work of winning an anti-dumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) case, relief can be temporary as foreign producers move their factories to other countries to evade the AD/CVD orders. This legislation creates a new successive AD/CVD investigation to combat repeat offenders by making it easier for petitioners to bring new cases when production moves to another country. It also expedites timelines for successive investigations and factors for the International Trade Commission to consider about the relationship between recently completed trade cases and successive trade cases for the same imported product.

-Belt and Road Initiative Subsidies – Currently, the Department of Commerce can only consider subsidies provided by the government under investigation. However, with the expansion of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, China is beginning to subsidize production in countries outside of China. This legislation would give Commerce the authority to apply CVD law to subsidies provided by a government to a company operating in a different country.

-Circumventing U.S. Law – This legislation imposes statutory requirements for anti-circumvention inquiries to clarify the process and timeline. It also specifies the deadlines for preliminary and final determinations, which currently lack statutory deadlines.

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the United Steelworkers (USW), and steel manufacturers in Alabama. support the Act.

“By strengthening the effectiveness of the U.S. trade laws, this bill will help give the American public confidence that their government has every tool available to fight for a level playing field for the American steel industry and our workers,” said Kevin Dempsey, President and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Added United Steelworkers President Tom Conway: ““The legislation will make U.S. trade laws more responsive to China’s foreign investments, which then dump product into the U.S. market. The bill also improves the process for follow-up on trade investigations, meaning U.S. workers and manufacturers can quickly move to stop unfair trade, wherever it comes from. USW endorses this bill and urges the House of Representatives to move quickly to pass it.”