U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Introduces Legislation to Combat Unfair Trade with a Targeted Approach
“Bad actors like China are not playing by the rules on steel, aluminum and paper.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following President Donald J. Trump’s imposition last week of blanket tariffs on steel and aluminum, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced legislation with a smarter path forward on trade. The Level the Playing Field in Global Trade Act of 2018 takes a targeted approach to crack down specifically on countries that are unfairly subsidizing their products through rock-bottom wages and substandard environmental practices.
“Bad actors like China are not playing by the rules on steel, aluminum and paper. We need the new tools provided in this legislation to take on China’s cheating,” said Senator Baldwin. “As the nation’s leading paper producer, when China cheats, our Wisconsin workers and manufacturers lose. This legislation will help level the playing field and support Wisconsin workers.”
The Level the Playing Field in Global Trade Act would ensure that when other countries undercut American manufacturers by selling products produced under conditions where workers are paid sub-standard wages, or where workplace safety practices and environmental protections aren’t maintained, those failures are treated as unfair subsidies and their imports are penalized.
Over the last 15 years, countries who have cut costs for manufacturers by allowing sub-standard labor and environmental practices have reaped the benefits of trade deals without upholding their end of the bargain. This lack of accountability has contributed to the shuttering of tens of thousands of American factories and the loss of millions of American manufacturing jobs.
U.S. companies and workers are presently at a trade disadvantage against companies and countries that do not pay adequate wages or maintain safety standards and environmental controls. This results in countries and companies engaging in a “race to the bottom,” which puts U.S. manufacturing jobs at risk and is fundamentally unfair to American working families. It’s also terribly destructive to workers around the world, many of whom are forced to work in unsafe conditions for meager wages.
Current American law and trade agreements prohibit “dumping” of products, where companies export products at prices below the cost of production or cheaper than they sell for in the home country, and allow the U.S. to impose duties to make the sale price in America reflect what the true cost would be without cheating. The Level the Playing Field in Global Trade Act would, for the first time, require that any new trade deals considered under Trade Promotion Authority recognize egregious environmental and labor practices as a form of illegal subsidy that can be remedied by U.S. duties. It would also reward companies that adhere to high global standards by creating new trade enforcement incentives.
The bill is supported by the United Steelworkers (USW) and the AFL-CIO.
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Federal Court Ruling to Dismantle the Affordable Care Act and Repeal Protections for People with Pre-Existing ConditionsDec 15th, 2018 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
"This ruling is a threat because Walker's lawsuit would take away guaranteed health protections and raise costs for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions."
Data Care Act will stop websites and apps from using personal data against users, protect user information from hacks and hold companies accountable for misuse
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Applauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Farm Bill That Includes Major Investments for Wisconsin Farmers and Rural CommunitiesDec 11th, 2018 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Bipartisan legislation includes improved risk management tools for dairy farmers, grants for Dairy Business Innovation, mental health resources for farmers and provisions to combat fraudulent organic imports