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Members of Congress urge Obama to confront China over trade violations


Reposted from The Detroit News


Members of Congress urge Obama to confront China over trade violations

David Shepardson | March 16, 2012 | The Detroit News

Nearly 200 members of Congress called on the Obama administration Friday to crack down on China’s “unfair practices in the auto parts sector.”

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, and Carl Levin, D-Detroit, are among 184 members of Congress calling on President Barack Obama “to confront China’s illegal practices that harm American auto parts manufacturers and cost Michigan jobs.”

Stabenow — who led the effort on the letter — said a new report released in January showed that through a number of violations of international trade rules, China has increased the number of auto parts it imports into the United States by 900 percent since 2000.

The letter urged Obama to use the new Interagency Trade Enforcement Center that he created last month “to address China’s predatory policies in auto parts.” More than 30 senators signed the letter including Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Al Franken, D-Minn., and John Kerry, D-Mass.

Others signing the letter included Reps. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, Dale Kildee, D-Flint, Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, Thaddeus McCotter, R-Livonia, Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, Hansen Clarke, D-Detroit, John Conyers, Detroit.

“We are writing to express serious concern about China’s unfair practices in the auto parts sector, and to encourage your administration to use all existing authority under the law to preserve and protect U.S. production and jobs,” the letter said. “Given its importance, the administration’s vigilance in addressing China’s harmful policies now, while we can still change this one-way street in trade, is essential. American companies and workers can compete anywhere when the playing field is level.”

The letter said “China also coerces U.S. companies in China to transfer their technologies to Chinese partners.”

While Detroit’s Big Three automakers are doing well, the parts sector — which employs more people — faces challenges, the letter said. “While our nation’s auto producers are recovering, the auto parts sector faces serious challenges,” the letter said. “75 percent of the jobs in the automotive sector are in auto parts, and these jobs are at risk in every state in the nation. China has virtually closed its market to our auto parts exports and continues to take actions to further limit access.”



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