AAM Supports Robert Lighthizer Confirmation

Asks that key trade leadership positions be filled

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) urged the U.S. Senate to confirm Robert Lighthizer as the United State Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter sent to Finance Committee leaders this week.

The letter, published on AmericanManufacturing.org, also outlines the need to fill trade leadership positions across all government agencies.

Said AAM President Scott Paul:

"Robert Lighthizer is uniquely qualified to represent the trade interests of U.S. companies and America’s factory workers. His experience with trade litigation, policy, and legislative issues makes him the right choice to lead USTR.

“Lighthizer has a difficult job ahead of him. The U.S. trade deficit with China has quadrupled since 2001 and global industrial overcapacity is at record levels. His leadership at USTR will be vital to fighting unfair trade, negotiating better trade deals, and defending U.S. rights at the WTO.

"Across government, it is important that key trade leadership posts be filled, including USTR, Commerce, and the International Trade Commission. In the absence of leadership at these posts, factory jobs are at risk.”

AAM recently released a paper outlining how the World Trade Organization (WTO) oversteps its mandate and disproportionately targets America’s trade enforcement laws. It found:

  • Of the 160 disputes on which the WTO has issued final or interim decisions since 1995, 73 of the disputes – or more than 45 percent of the total – have challenged a country’s use of its trade remedy laws.  
  • Of the 73 WTO decisions, 42 have involved trade remedies imposed by the United States.  The U.S. has been the subject of nearly five times as many trade remedy decisions as the second most frequent respondent in such cases, the European Union.
  • From 1995 to 2015, the U.S. imported 14.17 percent of global imports and imposed 12.73 percent of all trade remedy measures imposed by WTO members.  Yet the U.S. – one country out of the WTO’s now 164 members – was the subject of 57.5 percent of the WTO’s decisions in trade remedy disputes.  
  • The WTO has found the U.S. to be in violation of at least one aspect of WTO rules in 38 of 42 trade remedy, or in over 90 percent of the cases.

More Trade Facts:

  • The global steel market has grown to 2,300 million metric tons (MT) while only needing 1,500 MT to meet global demand. Seventy-five percent of new steel stock since 2000 has come from China.
  • Unfair trade practices like dumping, export subsidies, and currency manipulation drove the loss of one-third of U.S. manufacturing jobs since China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • U.S. bilateral trade deficit with China has more than quadrupled, from $83 billion in 2001 to $367 billion in 2015.
  • Sixty-three percent of voters want strong enforcement responses should China violate its trade agreements.
  • By a 55-35 margin, voters agree that we need to get tough on China and reject arguments that it would cause a “trade war.”