NEW YORK China has failed to comply with its international trade obligations, steel interests said Wednesday, citing alleged currency manipulation, export restrictions and government subsidies.
"The current U.S.-China trade relationship is taking a tremendous toll on U.S. manufacturers," Kevin Dempsey, senior vice president of public policy and general counsel for the American Iron and Steel Institute, said in a prepared statement during a hearing at the U.S. Trade Representatives Office.
"Over the last decade, the U.S. trade deficit with China has more than tripled, the United States has lost millions of manufacturing jobs, thousands of U.S. factories have been shuttered, and the American steel industry has been severely disrupted," he added.
The public hearing was held as part of the U.S. Trade Representatives preparation of an annual report to Congress on Chinas compliance with World Trade Organization rules. China joined the WTO in 2001, but some allege that the Asian nation has yet to abide by the rules.
The yuan remains "significantly undervalued" compared with the U.S. dollar and other currencies, John Martin, president of Mar-Mac Wire Inc. and president of the American Wire Producers Association, said in a prepared statement.
"At the same time, Chinese industries have achieved major increases in production capability and quality, productivity, foreign direct investment and other factors that would normally be expected to cause a currency to appreciate," he said. "China has repeatedly stated that it may be willing to consider restraining its manipulation of the yuan, but the Chinese government has fallen woefully short of adequately realigning its currency in accordance with free-market principles."
Martin added that Chinas "discriminatory, steel-specific border measures"including export taxes on wire rod, coupled with value-added tax rebates on downstream steel wire and wire productshave hurt U.S. interests.