Senators Welcome USTR Announcement on China Subsidies

Washington, DC – A bipartisan coalition of senators who have been pushing for improved disclosure of unfair foreign subsidies applauded the announcement today that the United States would disclose subsidies by China and India to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Senators Merkley (D-OR), Enzi (R-WY), Barrasso (R-WY), Snowe (R-ME), Schumer (D-NY), Levin (D-MI), and Nelson (D-NE) introduced an amendment this week that would force the United States to disclose China’s subsidies. Today, the United States submitted information to the World Trade Organization (WTO) identifying nearly 200 subsidy programs that China has failed to disclose as required under WTO rules.  Information was also submitted on 50 subsidy programs that India has not previously disclosed. Through these actions at the WTO, the United States is seeking the prompt provision of detailed information and data from China and India regarding the operation of these subsidy programs. These will enable stronger enforcement of commonly agreed trade laws, which will result in better protections for Americans businesses and workers.

The Administration’s response to our amendment is welcome,” said Merkley. “Shining some daylight on these subsidies is the first step to providing a level playing field for American companies, which for too long have had to compete not only with Chinese and Indian companies, but with the Chinese and Indian governments too.”

 “American industries should never be disadvantaged by foreign governments who continue to ignore their trade obligations,” said Enzi. “Subsidy reporting is what helps guarantee the rules are fair and followed by all.”

 “U.S. workers and businesses can compete with anyone in the global marketplace when they are on an even playing field,” said Barrasso.  “Ambassador Kirk’s decision to bring these unfair, undisclosed subsidies to the attention of the WTO is a positive step in the right direction.”

 “This is yet another example of China not complying with its WTO commitments to provide greater transparency in terms of its trade policies, and I commend Ambassador Kirk for finally calling them to account as our government has the right to do under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures,” said Snowe. “If there were ever a moment to empower our workforce when it comes to competing against illegal export subsidies and other unfair trade practices in the global economy, that time is now.”

 “I applaud USTR’s actions to call out China on its failure to comply with WTO subsidy notification obligations, and hope they continue to aggressively pursue every opportunity to bring China into compliance with global trade rules,” said Schumer. “I support Senator Merkley’s counter-notification amendment which would help close the loophole on failures to notify.”

 “Membership in the WTO means playing by the rules, and by failing to file notice of their subsidy programs, China and India are flouting the rules,” Levin said. “I am glad USTR is taking this action, but this process should have been used long ago. That’s why I have co-sponsored this legislation to require USTR that USTR submit counter-notifications to the WTO for trading partners that fail to disclose their subsidy programs. I urge USTR to engage in the WTO dispute resolution process to combat and seek penalties for prohibited subsidy programs in China and India.”