AAM Praises Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter to President Obama
Letter calls for appropriate remedies against illegally subsidized paper imports from China…
A bipartisan group of 109 U.S. senators and members of Congress representing 30 states have signed a letter to President Obama urging him to investigate subsidies provided by the Chinese government to its paper industry. The bipartisan letter, spearheaded by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), along with Reps. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) and Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), calls for the application of “all appropriate and necessary remedies” to combat unfairly subsidized paper from China, which puts hundreds of thousands of U.S. paper industry jobs at risk if left unchecked.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) commends these members for recognizing the threat of China’s unfair trade practices and immediately taking steps to fight for their constituents. A recent Economic Policy Institute (EPI) study found that the Chinese paper industry has benefited from at least $33 billion in subsidies from 2002–2009, with paper production in China tripling over the last 10 years.
Both labor and management agree that domestic paper jobs will remain in jeopardy because of illegal subsidies given to Chinese paper producers. From 2002 through the end of 2009, overall employment in the U.S. paper and paper products sector dropped 29 percent, from roughly 557,000 workers to 398,000. As AAM Executive Director Scott Paul explains, unless subsidized paper imports are properly addressed, more U.S. jobs will be lost.
“China’s massive subsidies to its paper sector are doing severe damage to the U.S. paper industry,” said Paul. “U.S. policymakers must take action against China’s blatant violations of trade laws, including sweeping subsidies to paper and many other industries. We thank the 109 senators and members of Congress who have sided with the American workers and signed the letter to President Obama.”
The United Steelworkers (USW), which represents roughly 130,000 U.S. paper industry workers, also praised the letter, with USW International President Leo W. Gerard saying, “We commend the action taken by this bipartisan group of U.S. senators and congressional members demanding that China obey international trade laws. Too many jobs and too many companies are being destroyed because of how China subsidizes production and violates free trade principles in paper manufacturing as well as in other industries.”