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Camp, Levin, Brady, and McDermott Introduce Legislation to Ensure Commerce Department Can Continue to Apply Countervailing Duty Laws to Non-Market Economies Like China

February 29, 2012

Washington, DC – Today, Chairman Camp (R-MI), Ranking Member Levin (D-MI), Trade Subcommittee Chairman Brady (R-TX), and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member McDermott (D-WA) introduced legislation to ensure that the Department of Commerce can continue to apply countervailing duty law to non-market economies (NME), such as China.  This legislation overturns the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in GPX v. United States and preserves the validity of the countervailing duty proceedings against imports from China and Vietnam, beginning in 2006.  The legislation also addresses an adverse World Trade Organization (WTO) finding that there may be “double remedies” in situations where countervailing duties are applied to NME exports at the same time that antidumping duties calculated using the so-called “surrogate value” methodology are applied to the exports.  

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator John Thune (R-SD) will introduce companion legislation today in the Senate.   

Chairman Camp stated: “This legislation preserves our ability to fight unfair subsidies granted by countries like China that injure our industries, cost U.S. jobs, and distort the market.  This targeted legislation does so by reaffirming that our countervailing duty laws apply to unfairly subsidized imports from non-market economies like China.  In addition, the legislation brings the United States into compliance with its WTO obligations by addressing potential ‘double remedies.’  Finally, the legislation satisfies the three tests I set forth last month: it is narrowly tailored; it ensures that U.S. application of its countervailing duty laws complies with its WTO obligations; and I expect that it will be able to pass the House and Senate without complications.”

Ranking Member Levin commented:
“This is vital legislation for tens of thousands of American workers who would have had the rug pulled out from under them by the Court of Appeals decision. These workers and their companies have had to face unfair Chinese and Vietnamese subsidies, suffering significant injury as a result and it is critical they get the relief to which they are entitled. I commend the Obama administration for the urgency with which it has worked to help reach a resolution to this matter. This legislation, while critically important, simply returns to the Administration tools previously available. It provides no new tools to stop China from creating unfair advantages for its producers or forcing American companies to move to China in order to do business in that market.  Congress must not use this step as an excuse to forgo future action on those fronts.”

Trade Subcommittee Chairman Brady said:
  “I strongly support this WTO-consistent legislation because it restores free market principles by allowing us to address unfair subsidies that China uses to distort the market.  We can’t give China a free pass.  We owe it to America’s job creators and workers to make sure we have the tools at our disposal to offset such unfair trade practices and allow the market to work properly.”

Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member McDermott added
: “American companies and American workers are depending on us to ensure that Commerce has the tools that it needs to respond to unfair subsidies from countries like China.  With this bill, we will be able to show them that, when we work together, we can come through.  The same spirit of bipartisanship should be brought to the host of other trade issues that are awaiting action, including action to preserve critical elements of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.  We cannot afford to let those issues languish.”

The bill text can be found here.
A one page summary can be found here.