USW Lauds U.S. Victory in Challenge to China’s Raw Materials Export Restraints

WASHINGTON, D.C.—(ENEWSPF)—January 30, 2012. The decision announced today by the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a huge victory for American workers.  In clear and unequivocal language, the WTO stated that China’s decision to limit the export of key raw materials violated the commitments China made when it joined the WTO.

“This decision is particularly important to the Steelworkers since the products China is protecting are key industrial raw materials used in the steel, aluminum and chemical industries – the industries where our members work hard and play by the rules,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard.

“China’s export restraints pose a clear and present danger. They limit supplies and raise prices to foreign producers on the world market that causes real harm.   And, they act as a magnet to companies to relocate their production and sourcing to China to be able to access these key ingredients,” added Gerard.

The USW believes that this important win should lead to China immediately dismantling its remaining export restraints.   “If China refuses to act, we should take them to the WTO,” said Gerard.

In the Section 301 petition the USW filed in 2010, the union called for similar action against China’s export restraints on rare earths, a key ingredient in countless products.  Rare earths are but one of a vast array of products that China is trying to restrict foreign producers from obtaining that put at risk production here in the U.S. in a variety of industries.

“The President made clear in his State of the Union address last week that manufacturing and job creation are his priorities,” said Gerard. “He created a Trade Enforcement Unit to support the fight for the industry and the millions of production workers who simply want a fair chance to compete.   The President has made trade enforcement a priority and Ambassador Kirk and his able staff have worked diligently to fight foreign unfair trade practices.

“Now is the time to make clear to China that it needs to come into compliance with its WTO commitments and play by the rules. The Steelworkers applaud and stand behind the Administration in that effort.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.  For more information:


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