Leading the Fight on China’s Mercantilist Exchange Rate Policies:
Accession to the WTO
was supposed to bring China’s policies in line with global trade rules meant to ensure free but fair trade. Instead, China has flouted those rules to spur its own economy and export-oriented growth at the expense of its trading partners, including the United States. Perhaps the biggest sticking point in U.S.-China relations is China’s overt and continuous manipulation of its currency to gain a trade advantage over its trading partners. Senator Schumer, with a bipartisan group of senators, has pushed successive administrations to address China’s currency manipulation. Senator Schumer also continues to champion legislation to provide specific consequences for countries that fail to adopt appropriate policies to eliminate currency misalignment and to give the Administration additional tools to address the impact of currency misalignment on American manufacturers, including use of the countervailing duty law to impose tariffs on imports benefitting from foreign government subsidies.
Working to Extend the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program:
The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA)
ensures that workers who lose their jobs and financial security as a result of globalization have an opportunity to transition to new jobs and emerging sectors of the economy. Important reforms were made to TAA in 2009, which have helped streamline the program and make it more efficient for beneficiaries. In 2009, Congress also expanded eligibility to all workers whose jobs have been moved offshore, regardless of whether the United States has a trade agreement with the particular country. It also recognized the important role of the service industry in the U.S. economy by bringing service workers into TAA. The program also improved and expanded access to TAA’s Health Coverage Tax Credit
– an initiative that promotes private health insurance access for recipients, and makes health insurance coverage more affordable to workers who lose their jobs due to trade and offshoring. These reforms to the TAA program help hundreds of thousands of workers, including in New York, by moving workers more quickly from government support to private sector jobs. Senator Schumer continues to work with his Senate colleagues to secure a long-term TAA extension.
Stopping Foreign Exporters from Cheating To Avoid Payment of Millions in Trade Duties:
Currently, domestic producers may petition the U.S. Department of Commerce
to investigate imports that are believed to be sold at less than normal value (dumped) or unfairly benefit from government subsidies. If the U.S. government finds that these imports are dumped or subsidized to a degree that causes harm to U.S. producers, Commerce applies antidumping duties (AD) in the case of dumped imports, and countervailing duties (CVD) in the case of subsidized imports. AD/CVD “orders” are the primary means by which the U.S. combats unfair trade in merchandise. These trade “remedy” laws are only effective to the extent they are enforced, and importers are increasingly devising and employing schemes to avoid paying AD/CV duties. This means that the U.S. loses millions of dollars in AD/CV duties, domestic industry remains injured or threatened by injury, and the U.S. loses good-paying jobs.Senator Schumer is championing a bill designed to combat the evasion of AD/CVD orders and better enforce the trade remedy statutes that are currently on the books.
Battling Intellectual Property Theft:
China, in particular, has a long record of intellectual property rights violations, costing the U.S. tens of billions of dollars in economic activity and millions of jobs. According to a 2011 report by the International Trade Commission
, China’s IPR infringement cost the U.S. economy approximately $48 billion in 2009 alone.Senator Schumer is standing up for New York companies economically harmed by Chinese IP theft, pushing federal officials to raise the issue with foreign officials and crack down on distributors of counterfeit goods, and pressuring websites facilitating intellectual property theft to take down ads for counterfeit products.
Ensuring an Adequate and Reliable Supply of Rare Earth Minerals:
A series of recent reports highlights the United States’ vulnerability to shortages of rare earth minerals increasingly used in national security and clean energy applications. China has a monopoly on rare earths mining and processing, producing over 95 percent of the world output of rare earth minerals. In recent years, China has ratcheted up restrictions on the export of rare earth minerals to encourage the production and export of high value-added rare earth products. China also prohibits foreign investors from mining rare earths and from participating in rare-earth smelting and separation projects except in joint ventures with Chinese firms. China’s anticompetitive practices are exacerbating global supply problems at a time when world demand continues to climb. Senator Schumer has requested that federal officials take specific steps to respond to China’s deleterious rare earth policies, including opposing the approval of any new financing to the government of China or for a project located within China involving rare earth mining, smelting or separation, or production of rare earth products and enforcing reciprocal prohibitions with respect to Chinese investment in mineral exploration and purchase in the United States until China lifts its rare earths foreign investment prohibitions.
Pressuring India to Open Its Market to New York Dairy Products:
New York is the third largest dairy products exporting state, with almost $200 million in exports in 2009. New York companies like Mercer’s Dairy – a small, family-run ice cream manufacturer and exporter in Boonville, New York, that uses the milk produced on its farms in all of its products – want to grow their exports to India, but are shut out by India’s WTO-inconsistent trade barriers. Senator Schumer continues to press India to open its market to U.S. dairy products and, in response to a request from Senator Schumer, U.S. trade and agriculture officials have committed to continue to raise this issue directly with Indian officials.
Fighting for Crackdown on “Honey Laundering” Schemes:
Senator Schumer urged federal officials to crackdown on imports of Chinese-origin honey transshipped through third countries in order to evade payment of U.S. import duties. This transshipping or “honey laundering” – the intentional mislabeling of the country of origin – is costing the U.S. millions of dollars in unpaid duties and threatens the health of the U.S. honey industry and, by extension, the health of U.S. agricultural industries. U.S. trade officials raised the issue of transshipment of Chinese-origin honey with Malaysian and Indonesian officials after Senator Schumer identified how such “honey laundering” is costing the U.S. millions of dollars in unpaid duties and threatens the health of the U.S. honey industry and, by, extension, the health of U.S. agricultural industries. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
also indicted eleven individuals and six corporations on federal charges for allegedly participating in an international conspiracy to illegally import more than $40 million of Chinese-origin honey. The honey was mislabeled as coming from other countries to avoid nearly $80 million in duties, and included honey that was adulterated with antibiotics not approved for use in honey production. Senator Schumer also is urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
to establish a national "standard of identity" for honey to ensure that products are 100 percent pure, rather than diluted with other sweeteners to cut costs or evade import restrictions. Subsequently, the FDA announced the seizure of 64 drums of imported Chinese honey in Philadelphia that was contaminated with a potent antibiotic not approved by the agency for use in food.