Protecting U.S. trade gets Davis accolades

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 21, 2004

U.S. Representative Artur Davis (D-Birmingham) today received support from the nation’s largest manufacturing trade association in his efforts to level the playing field in international trade.

The National Association of manufacturer (NAM) delivered a letter to Congressman Davis noting the organization’s support of H.R. 3716/ S. 2212, The Stop Overseas Subsidies Act of 2004. Congressman Davis is the lead Democrat in the House on this legislation, which would levy countervailing duties (CVD) – anti-subsidy duties – against those Non-Market Economy (NME) nations that unfairly subsidize their export industries.

“We appreciate the support offered to this legislation by the members and leadership of NAM. We are all working towards making our markets more fair with this legislation, and we will continue to build on this momentum as we seek final passage in Congress,” Davis said.

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Three of Alabama’s most critical industries – timber, steel, and catfish – are experiencing the devastating impact of competing against from state-owned and subsidized industries in non-market economics, and HR 3716 would fix this oversight and level the playing field for American producers by levying countervailing duties on products from these countries.

NAM President Jerry Jasinowski acknowledge the importance of such legislation in today’s market place and pledged the association’s support in seeing the bill receive final passage.

“Not infrequently, the NAM hears from members companies that the cost of Chinese imports is below the cost of raw materials, which could be the result of subsidization,” Jasinowski said. “It is for this reason that the NAM supports the use of countervailing duty laws and procedures in China and other non-market economies.”

Non-market economies are designated by the Department of Commerce as those nations with significant numbers of state-controlled industries in major sectors. Because they are subsidized by their governments and their costs of production are therefore lower than normal, industries in NMEs are able to sell their goods in the United States far below the market price. This gives them an unfair edge over their American counterparts. Examples of NMEs include China, Vietnam, and many former Soviet countries in Asia.

NAM is the largest industrial trade association and represents 14,000 members and 10,000 small businesses.