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USW Backs Obama's Challenge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CONTACT:
July 5, 2012                                                                             Wayne Ranick 412-562-2444
Gary Hubbard 202-778-4384

USW Backs Obama’s Challenge to China’s Trade Action

This statement was released today by United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard

(Pittsburgh) --  “Today President Obama proved once again how important enforcing our trade laws is to job creation in America.   He’s taking China to task for the import duties they have slapped on U.S.-made vehicles. Despite the fact that China has virtually unfettered access to our market, they constantly block access to their market for our competitive products.

“Last year, Chinese consumers purchased roughly 18 million vehicles. But they allowed only 106,000 vehicles made by U.S. workers into their market.  Obviously, for the Chinese, even that was too many.  They are flooding our market with auto parts that are produced with massive illegal Chinese subsidies and benefit from numerous other predatory and protectionist policies. Their exports to the United States have contributed to the loss of more than 400,000 jobs in the auto parts sector.   Imports of Chinese auto parts have skyrocketed by almost 900 percent since 2000.

“The auto and auto parts sector is one of the main engines that drives America’s economy.  More than 350,000 Steelworkers make products that can end up in an auto part or final vehicle. Our members make products ranging from steel and aluminum, to plastics, rubber and glass, to final products like tires, transmissions and countless other items.   From mining to final products, Steelworkers are involved.  Our members’ future and the future of the auto parts and auto sectors are inextricably intertwined.  These are good, family-supportive jobs that are the bedrock of communities across the country.

“China has been conducting a guerrilla economic war against American producers and workers for years.   Today, President Obama made clear that America is going to defend itself.   This is another important step in that process. The catalog of Chinese unfair trade practices is growing and, with it, the loss of good American jobs. China needs to be called on the carpet not only for its policies in this important area, but on auto parts, currency manipulation, intellectual property theft and an almost endless array of practices.”

The USW represents about 850,000 working men and women in the United States and Canada in a wide variety of industries, ranging from glass making to mining, paper, steel, tire and rubber and other manufacturing environments, to the public sector, service and health care industries.

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