Washington, DC --Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Subcommittee on International Trade Ranking Member John Thune (R-S.D.) today applauded the Senate's unanimous passage of their legislation to protect American jobs and exports by ensuring the U.S. Commerce Department can continue to apply countervailing duties in cases involving non-market economy nations like China and Vietnam. The U.S. government began the practice of applying these duties in 2007, but a court ruled in December that Congress never explicitly authorized the Commerce Department to do so. Since 2007, these countervailing duties have protected an estimated 80,000 jobs across the country by holding non-market economies responsible for unfairly subsidizing billions of dollars of imports.
"By passing this bill, we're backing American workers and businesses in the fight against China's unfair trade practices," Baucus said. "China doesn't get a free pass to violate the rules at the expense of American jobs. We need to maintain these countervailing duties and strongly enforce our trade laws to level the playing field for U.S. businesses and workers."
"I commend the Senate's swift passage of our bipartisan legislation to ensure that American job creators have the ability to challenge unfair practices by our trading partners, including China and Vietnam," said Thune. "In our competitive global market, it is increasingly important that America's trading partners play by the rules. I look forward to the House of Representatives passing companion legislation without delay."
The bill also provides for the Commerce Department to make a reduction to antidumping duties in non-market economy cases where countervailing duties are simultaneously being imposed, if it can be demonstrated that domestic subsidies have inflated the dumping margin, and if the Commerce Department is able to reasonably estimate an adjustment.
The bill, S. 2153, was co-sponsored by 18 additional Senators, including: Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.); Tom Coburn (R-Okla.); John D. (Jay) Rockefeller (D-W. Va.); Susan Collins (R-Maine); Bob Casey (D-Pa.); Rob Portman (R-Ohio); Tom Carper (D-Del.); Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.); Bill Nelson (D-Fla.); Pat Roberts (R-Kan.); Robert Menendez (D-N.J.); Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); Kirstin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.); Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). An identical bipartisan bill was introduced in the House of Representatives last week.