Tester calls out unfair Chinese trade practices to support American forest jobs
Senator joins with fellow Western Senators to push trade commission to level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers
(U.S. SENATE) – With the U.S. Commerce Department recently determining that illegal Chinese trade practices are threatening American forest jobs, Senator Jon Tester is teaming up with his fellow Western Senators to demand a full investigation by the U.S. government.
Tester is calling on the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to do a comprehensive study of Chinese trade practices in the wood product industry as the panel finishes its investigation into hardwood plywood imports. The Commerce Department recently determined that China is pricing plywood significantly below market value in American markets, threatening jobs in the U.S. wood industry.
Tester says that China’s unfair trade tactics are damaging local and state economies, and he is pushing the commission to support efforts to ensure fair play among all foreign and domestic producers.
“Manufacturing is at the heart of the American economic engine,” Tester told U.S. International Trade Commission Chairman Irving Williamson. “Unfair trade practices hurt American companies, cost us jobs, and destroy communities that are dependent on manufacturing jobs. A strong American economy depends on fair trade practices.”
The ITC is expected to make its final determination on China’s unfair dumping and subsidization of hardwood plywood by the end of this month. Dumping occurs when Chinese companies sell their hardwood and decorative plywood in the United States at less than market value. Additionally, the Chinese wood product industry receives subsidies from the Chinese government, allowing it to sell its products at lower costs.
Tester is also pushing forward with his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, which mandates logging on National Forest land while also setting aside some of Montana’s most treasured lands. Tester’s bill, which is the product of compromise between loggers, conservationists sportsmen and women, received a Senate hearing in July.
Tester’s letter to U.S. International Trade Commission Chairman Irving Williamson is co-signed by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).