Larsen Applauds New Trade Enforcement Action Against China

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a call with U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Froman, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) today applauded a new trade enforcement action at the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning China’s export duties on nine raw materials: antimony, cobalt, copper, graphite, lead, magnesia, talc, tantalum, and tin.

These materials are key in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, and chemicals.  The export duties – which range from 5-20% – provide an unfair competitive advantage to China at the expense of American workers and manufacturers.   

“I applaud today’s action which is important for aerospace jobs in my District and is exactly the type of action that I had in mind when we pushed for a Trade Agreements Enforcement Trust Fund last year,” said Larsen, the Ranking Member on the House Subcommittee on Aviation. “This administration has now brought 22 cases to the WTO 13 of which are against China. The U.S. has won every one of those cases. These victories send a strong message that the U.S. will hold trading partners accountable in order to get all workers a fair shot. If countries are going to trade with the U.S. they have to do so under good faith, they have to do so in accordance with international standards and they have to do so knowing that if they do not live up to those standards that the United States is going to act on enforcement.”

When China joined the WTO it agreed to eliminate export duties on these products, but it has failed to follow through on this commitment.  Today’s action is the 13th trade enforcement case the Obama administration has launched against China at the WTO – more than any other WTO country over the same period.  The U.S. has won every case that has been decided so far.

Larsen, who Co-Chairs the U.S.-China Working Group, has championed efforts to hold other countries – including China – accountable when they engage in unfair trading practices. Last year he pushed for legislation which created a Trade Agreements Enforcement Trust Fund to pay for enforcement actions against other countries that break trade rules. He also supported a provision to enable faster action against countries engaging in unfair trading practices as well as an office dedicated to ensuring other countries play by the rules or face consequences.